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Preparing to adopt your new dog in your home

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Before bringing a puppy into your home, there are a number of minimum preparations you need to take in order to live with your new dog.

Preparing the living environment

Pen

Dog pens vary in size to suit different sized dogs.
Use the following guidelines to choose the right size.

Miniature 90 × 60cm
Medium 120 × 90 × 80cm (height)
Standard 125 × 120-125 × 80cm (height)

Location

(1) If keeping your dog indoors
Do not position the pen next to the TV or in front of a door. Try to find a spot where your dog can relax quietly.
Make sure that all cables and other dangerous items are out of reach.

(2) If keeping your dog outdoors due to unavoidable circumstances (participants on the FCH System are required to keep their dogs indoors)
- Choose a south facing, well ventilated location.
- Position your dog's living area as close to the family as possible, to prevent your dog from causing a disturbance or endangering itself. Avoid roadside locations or other areas where visitors regularly pass through.
- Ensure that your dog is protected from strong sunlight, fleas and mosquitoes.
- If you have to chain your dog, make sure that you do not restrict its movements.
- Keep your dog's living area clean.
- Choose a location where your dog will not cause a disturbance (noise, dog waste, etc.)

Key point!
Australian Labradoodles have an incredible capacity for learning. Once your dog learns how to climb out of or escape from its pen, it will continue to do so from that point onwards. We recommend fitting a roof to your pen in the interests of safety.

Toilet

As with pens, toilets vary in size to suit different sized dogs.
Use the following guidelines to choose the right size.

Miniature Medium
63 × 48 × 4cm (height)
Medium Extra-large
94 × 64 × 4cm (height)
Standard Extra-large
94 × 64 × 4cm (height) – Two layers or use pen as toilet
Key point!
The toilet should be places in one half of the pen. Before purchasing a toilet, check to make sure it fits in your pen. Also don't forget to purchase the right size toilet sheets to use with the toilet.

Bed

If you intend to put a bed in your dog's pen, it is important to choose the right size bed to suit your dog and to position it away from the toilet for training purposes.
Ideally, the bed should be made from a soft material and be higher off the ground that the dog's toilet.

Key point!
The bed should be positioned on the opposite side of the pen from the toilet. It makes sense to have a spare bed available because puppies often have accidents when they are young.

Water

Make sure that your dog always has access to fresh water. We recommend using a commercially available water bottle or a used plastic bottle to prevent spillages.

Bowls

Food bowls should be either ceramic or stainless steel. Switch to a larger bowl as your dog grows in size.

Key point!
Plastic bowls are unhygienic because they get scratched and damaged when bitten, and can damage your dog's gums as a result. Try to avoid plastic bowls if possible.

Brushes

Australian Labradoodles' coats are either fleece or wool. Both of these types of coat are very soft and require attention in order to prevent fuzz from building up. Brushing your dog everyday also helps to improve communication.

Toys

When puppies loose their baby teeth and grow adult teeth, their teeth feel itchy and they tend to chew on anything they can find. Buy some dog toys so that you can teach your dog which items can be chewed and which items cannot. This is another good way to communicate with your dog.

Key point!
Choose toys that are slightly larger than your dog's mouth. Some puppies get so absorbed in chewing their toys that they can swallow them. That is a real danger, so make sure you compare different sizes and shapes before playing with your dog.

Collar and lead

Choose the right collar and lead to suit your dog's current size. You can't expect to buy your puppy a collar and keep on using it indefinitely. You need to buy new collars as your dog grows in size.
Although dog harnesses that go round your dog's torso are also available, we recommend a standard collar because it makes it easier to train your dog initially.

Key point!
To get the right size, an adult should ideally be able to fit a single finger between the collar and the dog's neck when wearing the collar.

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