FAQ: You Asked, We Answered
Whether you are bringing home and new poodle, cavapoo, cockapoo, cocker spaniel or goldendoole puppy there are some questions you may need answered before picking up that new bundle of joy! Getting a new puppy can be really exciting, but if you’re a first-time owner, or have never had a puppy before, it can also be daunting! We are here to help you with some of the most frequently asked questions, common things you might come across.
How does the wait list work?
Our waitlist is not litter specific. Families who join our waitlist simply want a puppy from us in the future because they love our program! When we have a confirmed pregnancy, we will reach out to our waitlist FIRST for that particular breed. Once puppies are born, we will offer puppy spots in order of waitlist fees received. If there are spots available after contacting those on our waitlist, we will announce those remaining available spots.
Our wait list families are allowed 3 skips before moving to the bottom of the list. There is a waitlist fee of $100, which is applied to the total fee for the puppy. After you move to a specific litter list, we require an additional $400 reservation fee, which is applied to the total cost.
How long is the wait?
Wait times are reasonable and are breed specific. Contact us today for more information on the breed of your choice. The sooner you apply the better the selection.
If you’d like to bring home a puppy within the next year, I’d suggest applying for our waitlist now. There is always a possibility that we will have puppy spots available sooner after contacting those on our waitlist, but there is no guarantee.
When/How do we choose our puppy? When Can I bring my puppy home?
We believe in choosing your forever family member based on temperament and personality versus physical attributes alone (though we know those are important, too!) and ultimately the final decision is up to you.
We perform puppy temperament testing at approximately 6 weeks of age and allow families to pick their puppy via FaceTime/video call soon thereafter. Puppies can transition to their new homes typically around 8-10 weeks old.
Are the Waitlist or Reservation fee refundable?
Our waitlist and reservation fee are non-refundable.
Are we allowed to come to visit and choose our puppy in person?
Not at this time.
We have "puppy pick up" at an agreed-upon location off-site.
We do this so we try and limit disease/risk to puppies as much as we possibly can.
We do a lot of Instagram to show families our puppy's temperaments to help guide them in the picking process.
What do puppies come with?
Puppies go home with:
a folder of their health records, and helpful reading material.
puppies leave appropriately vaccinated (5-way)
sample bag of Next Level Super Premium Puppy Food
What brand of food do we feed?
We feed Next Level Super Premium Puppy Food Hi-Pro for small-medium breeds; and Next Level Professional for Large Breed.
How much and when should I feed?
We feed first thing in the morning.
At breakfast we allow puppies to eat their fill (put down roughly 1 cup). Whatever they don't eat, pick back up after 20 minutes.
We feed dinner at 4 pm. This will allow ample time for the puppy to digest and go potty before bedtime in the kennel.
💡 TIP for training: Use breakfast time to do a training session using the food as a reward, then whatever kibble is left over - set in a dish for the puppy to eat from.
Should I pull up water?
No, we don’t recommend ever picking up water. Puppies need to stay as hydrated as possible.
However, don't let the puppy chug a bunch of water right before they go into the kennel at night, or you will need to spend more time outside.
What kind of treats should I get?
Honey nut Cheerios are a good affordable option with less harmful ingredients than most treats for puppies and dogs.
For high-reward training use cooked meat (chicken or ham).
We love Bully Sticks for teething! Nature Gnaws or Cadet Brand from Costco are great. No rawhide or nylabones
A Kong stuffed with frozen plain nonfat yogurt or a small amount of peanut butter.
What kind of crate should I buy?
Midwest crate with a divided so the crate can grow with your puppy. Crates are a good way of making sure your puppy is secure and out of any mischief at night! Again, it’s something your puppy will need to get slowly used to and each dog will take a different amount of time before they are happy to be in their crate.
What should be in the crate at night?
A towel or thin blanket (we provide a thin blanket in our go-home bags that is perfect for the kennel).
No crate mats or dog beds. This will cause them to overheat and cry more in return. With a towel or light blanket, they can choose to lay on it to sleep on it or push it to the side if they are hot.
Where should I have my crate located?
Away from the bedroom.
By the back door (convenient for when they get out of the crate as it is right there for a potty trip).
They sleep better without hearing you rustling around and getting up for bathroom breaks during the night. Also, this is great practice to avoid separation anxiety. Puppies need to learn it is okay to be away from you for extended periods of time.
Should I use potty pads?
No! It is time to take advantage of that early potty training and take the puppy outside on the grass often!
💡 TIP: if you live in an apartment or condo, we recommend you get a real grass pad and put it on your patio/porch
until your puppy is fully vaccinated.
What do I do if I catch my puppy going to the bathroom in the house?
If they are actively in the act, loudly say “NO”, you can also add a clap. Immediately take them outside.
If you find an accident, clean it up and try adding more frequent trips outside. We never scold a puppy for accidents that have already happened.
Setting Boundaries in the House:
We never allow jumping or mouthing at hands, clothes, or the body.
Is your puppy allowed on furniture? Even though your puppy is little now these habits will be less and less cute as they grow.
If you wouldn't want a 50 pound dog doing it, you don't want your puppy doing it.
Setting boundaries promotes a positive relationship and reduces the chances of problematic behavior in the future.
If you watch dogs in a natural setting you will see them set boundaries with each other all the time.
For example, if you watch dogs playing together, if one gets a little too rough, the other is likely to assert itself and put a pause on the game. You may see a growl, snarl, “nip” or correction. When play resumes, the first dog will be careful to respect the boundaries set by the other.
Monitoring the behavior between Puppy and Children:
Puppies will mimic the behavior around them.
If kids play by running around, puppies will follow suit. This play is okay but needs to be monitored closely. As a parent, you must be a referee. This play can lead to mouthing. You must intervene and correct this behavior.
How do I correct my puppy?
You want to have a correction noise and word.
At Red Stick Kennels our correction words are “No” and “Enough” you could use a clap as well.
Puppy will learn your correction noise and words. If you see your puppy doing an unwanted behavior you can use your correction noise or word.
If the puppy does not stop the behavior with your noise or word this needs to be followed up by a physical correction.
We use hands for loving and feet for correction. Using your foot to tap your puppy can be a correction. You can also use the scruff of the neck. A tap or touch is the same thing a mom or other dog would do to correct when boundaries are not being respected.
What is a reward?
Most people think of a reward as only a treat or cookie.
Reward is also talk, touch, and eye contact.
When you see bad behavior remember to not talk or touch the puppy.
For example, if your puppy is jumping, you do not talk, touch, or make eye contact. First, put the puppy into a command (Sit command is great), WAIT for the puppy to hold this command for a minimum of 5 seconds, then reward!
We love chest pets as a reward. This is an uplifting reward. You will see a puppy come over in a proud and confident chest-raised stance.
How often should I bathe?
You want to keep the natural oils on the skin and not dry out the coat. During training, we will bathe once a week.
Once a puppy is socialized and respectful of baths, we space them out.
Your puppy should already be on a schedule with your groomer, this isn't only for baths but to maintain their socialization towards being dropped off with someone else, put on a table, etc,... also groomers can catch any areas you may be missing after your daily brushing.
What kind of shampoo should I use?
We love Nootie Warm Vanilla Cookie Shampoo & Body Spray.
For whitening, we love Farnam Vetrolin White N’ Brite (to be used sparingly on white areas only).
How often should I use the blower?
For training use the blower at least every other day.
Blow out your puppy's coat using no heat. It’s great for training but will also keep your house clean! It's a great practice to blow out puppy feet when coming back into the house.
When using the blower keep the nozzle close to the skin and use slow sweeping motions.
Should I buy a professional grooming blow dryer and what brand?
Yes, buy the blower! Any brand is great.
What brand of brush should I use?
We use a comb and a long bristle slicker brush.
It has long pins that penetrate deep into thicker coats. The pins and cushion are flexible and help combat tough tangles and mats.
How often should I brush my puppy?
I brush at the end of the day while I'm watching television. Make sure you thoroughly brush the backs of the legs, armpits, and behind the ears.
Should I brush my puppy's teeth?
You can use any kind of toothbrush, it doesn't need to be a dog toothbrush.
We use a small glass with half Listerine and half water and dip the toothbrush. Listerine will actually freshen the breath better than most dog toothpaste.
Should I crate my puppy in the car?
This is a personal decision. I don't.
I prefer to teach my puppies to be confident riding in the car without being crated. I don’t allow them to run back and forth and be wild. I teach them to remain in one seat or on the floorboard.
Do you recommend puppy puzzles?
Yes, mental stimulation is huge!
Puppy puzzles, snuffle mats, or playing hide and go seek are all fun ways to work the brain.
When can my puppy go outside for a walk or in the yard?
Going in the yard:
As long as your yard is safe and enclosed with solid fences and not used by other dogs, then your puppy can go out in the yard right away. It’ll help to build their confidence, get them used to their new home and you can start their toilet training!
Going on their first walk:
Taking your puppy for its first walk is a huge milestone, but you’ll need to wait until they are fully covered by vaccinations to be safe. This is usually a few weeks after their second shots in their primary vaccination course, but this does vary from vaccine to vaccine. It’s best to ask your vet when you take them in for their shots as they’ll be able to give you exact timings.
When can my puppy meet other dogs?
You’ll need to wait until your puppy is fully vaccinated before letting them meet other dogs. This will help stop them from getting any nasty diseases. Wait for the all-clear from your vet, then you can take your puppy out and about to socialize. Keep them on the lead and watch other dogs’ body language to make sure they are happy to greet your puppy. Always ask owners first before you allow your puppy to go up to strange dogs.
How should I introduce my new puppy to my current dog?
You’ll need to make sure your current dog is fully vaccinated and well in itself before bringing your new puppy home. Then it’s best to do introductions slowly, making sure your dog has a quiet space away from your boisterous new puppy! Obviously, it might be a bit difficult to introduce them on ‘neutral territory because your puppy won’t be fully protected by their vaccinations yet but do take away favorite toys or anything that your current dog feels protective over so that these won’t become a problem between your dog and puppy. You should probably keep both dogs on a loose lead when they first meet – make sure you can recognize their body language so you know if the meeting is going well.
Always supervise your dogs together. Remember your puppy may be a lot more playful than your current dog so make sure you are playing with your puppy to give your other dog some space, but make sure you stick to your current routine with your first dog so that they don’t feel a dramatic change to their life.
Remember to feed both dogs away from each other so neither feels the need to guard their food as this can cause a lot of tension in the long term.
Why is my puppy biting and chewing and how can I stop it?
Nibbling and chewing is a natural part of being a puppy. Just like people, puppies go through teething and need to bite and chew. They also explore the world through their mouth, so it’s only natural that they bite and chew anything and everything they can! Rather than trying to stop them from chewing, make sure you give them lots of dog-safe toys they can chew like bully sticks or a kong with a small amount of peanut butter inside.
Will my puppy need milk?
In short, no. Your puppy won’t need any milk at all after they’ve been fully weaned from its mom! Milk has lots of extra calories that’ll mean your puppy quickly piles on the pounds.
How do I toilet-train my puppy?
Toilet training is a really important part of training your puppy and we recommend that you get started right away. It’s important to use positive, reward-based training and never punish your puppy as this could make the problem worse. Toilet training might take some time, but it’s important to stick with it and be consistent in taking your puppy out every thirty minutes or so. You can gradually increase the time as they get older.
How often should I take my puppy to the vet?
Your puppy will need to go to the vet to get the rest of its primary course of vaccinations. Make sure you register with a vet before your puppy comes home so you can get these appointments scheduled in advance. Their remaining shots might need to be done over a couple of visits, but your vet will be able to advise you of an exact schedule.
You’ll then need to return to the vet when your puppy is ready to be neutered. This is usually between 12-18 months. Don’t forget to book their boosters and annual health check, too!
If your puppy gets sick or you need some extra advice, your vet will always be happy to help over the phone or make you an appointment if necessary. There’s no exact amount of visits you and your puppy might make to the vet in their first year – it’ll all depend on your puppy and their general health! Remember that where you get your puppy from will have a big effect on their health and well-being too.