Theodore, 5 Months Old
Hi friends! As many of you know, Phil and I got a mini goldendoodle puppy in March. His name is Theodore and he is the apple of our eye. He is currently nine months old and he is growing so fast. I get questions & DMs about Theodore everyday. I wanted to write an article for you all to answer the most common questions and share my tips if you are getting a puppy. You can find his instagram here.
What kind of dog is Theodore?
Theodore is a F1 mini goldendoodle. He was born January 15, 2018 in a littler with 9 other puppies (7 girls, 2 boys). He is 40lbs now. Theodore and his brother were the biggest pups in their litter! Below is his seven week old head shot. Look at that paw!
Theodore 7 Weeks Old
I am getting a puppy! What do you recommend I buy? What did you get for Theodore?
Below are some of the items we got for Theodore. We built this list based on suggestions from our breeder. I’m including Theodore’s favorite toys, treats and bones as well.
- Training Book – Training The Best Dog Ever was our guidebook for training Theodore. It was the best dog training book I read. The author uses positive reinforcement training techniques and has a plethora of experience to share. She even trained some of the former White House dogs.
- Puppy Pads – These puppy pads worked well for Theodore. Some of the other brands we tried leaked and these did not. The lavender scent also attracts puppies to the pad. Pro tip – place puppy pads next to the door you use to go outside. Once you start outdoor potty training, it will be easier to see a signal from your puppy that he has to to the bathroom.
- Playpen – We used this wire playpen for Theodore. It was helpful during the first few weeks to have a play space when we were working.
- Bedding – Theodore loved this fleece throw blanket.We put one over our couch and used another as bedding. These fleece blankets are perfect for the puppy days because they are cozy, affordable and easy to wash. Wait until your puppy is house trained to invest in more expensive bedding! Bath towels also work well.
- Crate – We love this Precision wire crate for Theodore. It’s sturdy and still in perfect condition. We purchased the crate size that would fit Theodore as an adult and used a divider when he was smaller. NOTE: Your puppy/dog should always be able to stand with his/her head held upright and have head clearance. He/she should also be able to turn around easily without bumping the sides of the crate.
- Food Bowl – We started feeding Theodore food in these stainless steel bowls. He would scarf his kibble down dangerously fast so we switched him to this puzzle feeder.
- Water bowl – Harry Barker Ceramic Water Bowl I love this machine washable ceramic bowl. Theodore has used it since he was a puppy.
- Toys – Theodore’s favorite toys, in no particular order: Squeaky balls, glowing fetch ball, teething, spikey ball, little bear, hedge hogs, bunny, taco, puppy rope, happy moppy, classic kong (great for stuffing PB into) and monkey.
- Treats – Training treats will make your life so much easier (especially if your puppy is food motivated). Theodore’s favorites are: Buckley Rrainers, Merrick Power Bites, Best Buddy dog cookies and Old Mother Hubbard assorted biscuits. We used these religiously when he was training. I love them because each type comes in a variety of flavors so he never got tired of them. Theodore also goes wild for these Sancho & Lola natural pig ears. Healthy human foods work great too. We use carrots, frozen green beans, hot dogs bites, ice cubes and small pieces of cheese – he loves them!
- Bones – N-bones and the N-bone teething rings in any flavor are great. Theodore also loves pork chomps and his Himalaya dog chew. I can’t recommend these bones enough – they were a lifesaver when Theodore was teething. Theodore also loves these chew They rarely splinter and are great for teething: Kong elk antler dog bone, natural white bone and this Benebone wishbone chew toy for teething.
- Leash & Harness – Your puppy will chew on his/her leash a lot in the beginning. We started Theodore with this leash and this harness. We got him a new leash and cute needlepoint collar once he stopped chewing so much.
Snooping Around The House With my Toy
What is the difference between a F1, F1b and multigen mini goldendoodle?
F1 – Theodore’s generation. A cross between a purebred golden retriever and a mini poodle (50%/50%). F1s are generally known to be more golden retriever looking than other generations of goldendoodles. F1s usually have a straight to wavy coat. As they get older, their coats tend to look more shaggy. F1s may shed. Theodore and his siblings do not shed. Below is a recent picture of Theodore at 9 months old.
Theodore F1 Mini Goldendoodle
F1b – A cross between a F1 goldendoodle and a mini poodle. The F1b is 75% poodle. The coat types vary in appearance but F1bs tend to have a more curly poodle type coat. The F1b should not shed and is a good choice for families who have allergy sufferers or do not want dog hair in the house. Theodore’s adorable best friend Brax is a mini F1b goldendoodle.
Braxton F1b Mini Goldendoodle
Multigen – A cross between two goldendoodles. One parent must be an F1b or multigen goldendoodle. A poodle bred to a multigen still produces a multigen. Multigens are usually low shedders. The coat types vary from curly to wavy depending on the parents. Theodore’s incredibly cute friend Franklin is a mini multigen goldendoodle.
Franklin Multigen Mini Goldendoodle
These are just the basics. An experienced breeder will be able to provide you with the best guidance on what to expect from each generation of goldendoodle, especially traits that may be passed down specific to puppies in their litter.
How did you find Theodore? What advice do you have for finding a breeder?
When it comes to finding a breeder the first thing I always tell people is to do your research! Theodore was our first dog and we knew from the beginning that we wanted get our first dog from breeder for temperament and health reasons. We did not know any goldendoodle breeders so we started with the breeder list from the Goldendoodle Association of North America (GANA). GANA provides a thorough list of goldendoodle breeders across the country who are dedicated to breeding dogs based on a strong history of health and temperament in the family lineage. GANA breeders pride themselves in the quality of care for their animals and healthy breed lines. Through GANA’s breeder list, we found a breeder in Indiana that we liked and was accepting applications for her next F1 litter. NOTE: there are many unethical breeders and puppy mills (watch out for Lancaster, PA area). Many websites that claim to be “reputable” breeders are really puppy mills so please be careful.
Theodore & Mama
How did you know it was the right time to get a dog?
Phil and I wanted a dog for a very long time. We waited until we knew we would have the time to dedicate to raising a puppy. I was in my second semester of business school with a very flexible class schedule and Phil knew his work schedule for the next few months would not be crazy. Puppies require a lot of time and attention – especially in the first few months. We knew we it was the ideal time for us to get a puppy.
What is Theodore’s personality like?
Theodore is super sweet and loving to everyone (children, animals, strangers and beyond). Multiple people call him a “big mush” and I have never seen him be aggressive. He is ball obsessed, plays very well with other dogs, loves giving kisses and he loves to wrestle. He is energetic and playful but also affectionate and cuddly. If I am sitting on the floor, he will come over to sit in my lap. He is also smart – he knows how to manipulate us for playtime or cuddles on demand. He is very attentive to anything we do – if we are coughing or trip he will look concerned, come over and start licking us. Phil and I love him to pieces!
Helping Mama With Her Emails
How did you train Theodore?
With lots of treats, positive reinforcement and love. Theodore was food motivated and very eager to please which helped us train him relatively quickly. We did not use a professional trainer. Before Theodore arrived,we both read Training the Best Dog Ever. It was my favorite dog training book by far and I highly recommend it. The author uses positive reinforcement training techniques and has a plethora of experience, was responsible for training Sunny and Bo Obama.
We brought Theodore home when he was 8.5 weeks old. Socializing Theodore was very important to us. We made a big effort to schedule several indoor play dates with immunized dogs we knew in our building during his first few weeks at home. The early socialization was helpful for his development.
We did not start potty training Theodore outside until he had the appropriate shots, per our vet’s recommendation. Theodore put EVERYTHING in his mouth and we did not want to take any risk of him getting sick with something he was not immunized against. We transitioned him off of pee pads once we our vet said it was safe to take him outside. He was fully potty trained by 5 months old.
We did crate train Theodore and I’ll talk about our experience with crate training in the next section.
Proudly Carrying My Loot From Central Park
Where did you put Theodore’s crate? How did you get him to like his crate?
When we brought Theodore home, we placed his crate in our bedroom in a spot where he could see us when he was sleeping. We got this Precision wire crate in a size he could grow into and we used the divider while he was potty training. Dogs enjoy a cave-like atmosphere and feel safe when their crate is enclosed. We covered the top and sides of his crate with a light blanket, leaving the front open for airflow.
Theodore’s first few nights in the crate were very tough. He hated his crate and cried. The advice we were given was to make the crate a place where exciting things were happening. We would give him lots of treats and praise as he went to his crate at night. We also put one of our t-shirts in the crate so our smell would be close. Before leaving the house, we would always give him a high value treat (ex. Kong with peanut butter) in the crate along with lots & lots of praise. Over time he started to love his crate. By four months we stopped hearing any barking or crying from Theodore while he was in there. Around the same time, we let him sleep on the floor of our bedroom which is where he sleeps now. We still crate him whenever we leave the house. We don’t want to risk him getting into anything. To date, he is super comfortable in his crate and loves it. He will even occasionally pop in there for a nap when we are home.
Can I Have a Treat Please?
What funny things does Theodore do?
There is never a shortage of things to laugh about with Theodore. He knows the command “drop” very well. That said, when he really wants to play with us he will find something that he knows is important to us / that he is not supposed to have (a shoe, a letter, a magazine, a credit card, toilet paper etc) and he will run wild around the apartment with the item. This leads to a police like chase with us running after him. Lately, he has become obsessed with fall. Oftentimes, when he sees fall leaves, he will nose dive into the leaves, chew them and then proceed to blissfully roll around in them. He knows the command “up” very well. However, when we say “up” he will roll over, play dead and freeze.
Theodore 9 Months Old
Has Theodore changed since you got him?
Theodore has not changed much! He has always had a huge appetite, wonderful temperament and lots of energy. The only change I have noticed is that his coat got darker. His coat is now a deeper golden while his belly is still light golden. It is so cute!