This is a letter from one of our doodle families. I am sharing it because it describes very well their process of adjustments with their doodle baby and how well loved and adjusted he is in their home. For anyone who wonders whether a mini goldendoodle is a fit for your family, please take time to read as I think it will answer many of your questions along the way. Thank you Michelle Family for taking time to share. And thank you Jax!
This email is LONG overdue, I apologize. Jax (formerly Walker) is now just shy of 11 months old and weighs in at 45 lbs last vet visit a month or so ago. A little bigger than what we were hoping for and we’re hoping he’s done growing! But we wouldn’t trade him.
He’s a tall boy more than he is weighty, very lanky, although when his fur grows out he looks like a little chunk. But he’s not. He’s so very very soft! Very cuddly, and he totally puts up with cuddles.
He only cried his very first night at home. After that he would only whine when he was ready to go out of his crate in the morning for his morning potty trip. Essentially making it 8 hours every night. We struggled the first of week potty-training, just due to the adjustment and not being able to read when he needed to go and he seemed to have no way of telling us. We got poochie bells to hang on the door and that was the ticket! He was fully trained in about two days once we started that. He caught onto ringing the bells to go out very very fast. Then the only occasional accidents were nicely on the linoleum by the door because he rang late, or we didn’t hear him. He was and is so sweet too when he rings them, just gives them a little nudge, the smallest little ‘ding’ and waits for you. The hard part was hearing the ring sometimes because he was so gentle and sweet about it.
He was very mouthy little puppy! On my goodness! And he didn’t ruin a lot of things around the house, but his nipping of hands, legs, pant legs, seemed fairly extreme. We actually had to keep him in his crate when then kids were home after school with him, and they were not allowed to take him out because he would always nip them. Drew blood often! It was terrible. We did every ‘trick’ in the book, nothing worked to get him to stop. Finally he just grew out of it. Now that that is past us he is an awesome family pet.
We did a beginner training class together. He did SO well! So proud of him. He was definitely one of the best ones. He catches on so very quick and so eager to please me. At 9 weeks I taught him sit, lie down, up, and hi-five in about 5 minutes. The first time we did off leash recalls he was the only dog to complete it correctly. We walked to our spot, he stayed in his heel. Told him to sit, he sat at my side looking up me very expectantly. I took the leash off, told him to stay and I walked off. Didn’t look back until I turned around about 15 feet in front. He was still sitting waiting for me, (only dog that didn’t need the assistant to restrain him) and I made him wait for a good 30 seconds. Then I called him to ‘come’ and he bounded up to me and stopped right in front of me. Lots of treats! and I put his leash on and we walked back to our spot in line in perfect heel formation to applause. Obviously I had worked with him outside of class, but first time in class, and no one else could complete it as well as we did. He knows lots of tricks and commands, even some hand signals. His favorite is to give “hi-five’s”. He doesn’t touch his food until you release him to eat it. If we are all outside we leave him off leash because he just stays in the yard with us and a simple “Jax! Come here Jax!” will bring him running back to us if he does happen to get distracted with something outside or at the edge of our yard. Doesn’t chase wildlife or cars. Adores people though, if he gets distracted by something it’s usually a person.
We are going to do an intermediate class next that includes agility training. I think he’ll LOVE it. When we leave him off leash outside he’ll often just RUN so very very fast, just tearing up the yard, but only stays in the yard. Loves to fetch! Especially balls and sticks. Will often attempt to drag large branches into the house that he is obviously quite proud of. Sometimes if he really loves the stick or ball he’s fetching he’ll bring it back to you but at the very last second as you reach your hand down to get it he moves his head so it’s just past your reach then keeps walking so he can chew on it somewhere. “See!? I brought it to you mom! But I’m not ready to give it up just yet. Must destroy first!”
Stuffed toys are his absolute favorite, and he has a very special knack at finding weak spots in the stitching then completely de-stuffing it. Goes absolutely nuts over the stuffing, making sure every last bit of it is out of the animal and strewn all over the floor. Loves to “rough house” with my husband and son. Which basically involves him having a toy in his mouth (this is a must!) and then basically wrestling, grab and yank at the toy, roll around, he charges them, jumps on them, rubs his head all over them, paws at them, and they grab at him, and fluff him up. It’s funny to watch.
He spends every lunch with me, usually lying at or on my feet while I eat. We go outside and check the vegetable garden together, I water it while he ‘waters’ the yard and poops. He adores our mail lady and always greets her very enthusiastically and she always gives him treats, and just loves that he’ll ‘sit’ upon her command.
He goes to the lake house where my husband’s parents are fixing up to move into and he plays with their larger dog and runs himself ragged. Just wants to play, doesn’t want to dominate any other dog, doesn’t want to hump them, let’s them hump him if it means they’ll let him play with them. Very submissive little guy. Submissive at home too. We’ve never had a problem with any marking behavior (was fixed at 4 or 5 months), much to our delight he prefers to poop on the outside edge of the yard. Even on our walks he doesn’t seem to have any marking behavior at all. He’ll do his business once and that’s it. Often found in the house on his back spread eagle fast asleep… I think he’s comfortable here.
I think in 11 months I have collectively found two individual Jax hairs on my sofa. He behaves well now, and is allowed the mudroom with a gate up during the day hours while we are at work. Get full run of the house when we are home. And at night he sleeps on the floor of our room next to the bed. We tried to get him a bed but he won’t lie on it and would prefer to de-stuff it more than anything. He jumps into our bed in the morning when he’s decided we’ve slept enough on the weekends. Every night he goes up to ‘kiss the kids’ with us and gives them lots of ‘kisses’, they would love if he slept with them but he hasn’t figured that out yet and prefers to come hang out with us downstairs in the evening. He hangs out with the kids when they come home from school now and plays with them or lies with them on the couch while they watch TV.
He’s JUST recently started running with me on my short runs, or rather I run and he barely breaks a fast walk. He makes me look bad! But he stays by my side, don’t even need a leash, he ignores other walkers, dogs, and strays to run right next to me.
He wants EVERYONE to be home! Quite obviously misses whoever is not home. Going to the back door, watching it, waiting, pacing, if he thinks he hears them come home he races to the back door to see if they’ve come yet. Loves to watch the kids play outside or play outside with them. LOVES our pool! Quite the little swimmer, fetching items you throw into it, just swims and swims and swims. Figured out how to climb the ladder so he can get in and out by himself.
He’s not much of a barker, he barks if he thinks we are threatened in anyway. If people walk or dogs walk by when he is out he will have none of it or if he thinks a stranger is coming into the house he’ll growl and let out a bark. And it’s not a constant bark it’s a bark or two, then a growl, then another bark, I always joke that he would lick them to death because he so loveable. But if we’re on a walk and dogs bark at us, or we pass people he doesn’t bark, just stays by my side. Only on his own turf that he obviously wants to keep safe. Once I was upstairs all by myself, in the back of a closet digging around making a bunch of noise and I heard Jax come upstairs (he obviously heard strange noises) I heard him come into the room and stop and then I heard his threatening growl, I stopped my rustling and waited, he came charging into the closet with a growl and bark, head and tail down, ears back and then he saw it was me! LOL! His whole demeanor changed, it was so funny he just lite up like a Christmas tree! All jumpy and kisses, tail wagging, he was obviously delighted that I wasn’t anything truly threatening and he didn’t have to protect his turf. It was too cute! Then he laid down next to me on the floor while I finished my sorting.
We’ve taken him to my parents a couple time, who are not dog people AT ALL, and I get compliments on how well behaved he is and what an absolutely SWEET disposition he has. And they are just shocked that we let him out without a leash even at a strange place and he just stays near or with us all the time. And he is just an absolute sweetheart with a little bit of a mischievous side, which I think comes from being too smart for his own good!
Does amazingly well with baths, just stand there and takes all of it, prefers to have his head on my chest while I scrub him and wash him. I dry him with my hair dryer and he just lies there like a champ, again preferring his face be buried somewhere on my body. And he does generally have a ‘thing’ of wanting his face to be under the blanket, bed, in the couch, stuff like that, it’s pretty humorous! He has a thing for dirty tissues too, a little less humorous. lol. We have all learned to keep bathroom doors closed! Although he will often bring them to me sometimes, stand there with a, “you left the door open, and I couldn’t resist, thought you should know” look and I say, “Jaaax! No! Drop it!” and then he slowly spits it out into my hand and slinks off to go lay down.
But he is a spoiled spoiled puppy! He gets lots and lots of love. He gets a BarkBox every month of new toys and treats. Just this morning we discovered that he is inflamed in between his toes for some reason, (in-grown hair maybe, bite by something that sort of thing) Anyway, he was completely surrounded my all four of us, flat on his back, all four legs in the air, both kids and dad giving him belly and neck scratches telling him it would be ok, Elise even had her face right next to his and he was licking it, myself gently inspecting the foot, him just eating up all the attention. (don’t worry his foot will be fine!). But that’s the Jax life, he’s so spoiled even my kids often state that they’d like to live the life of Jax.
I hope you enjoyed the fairly large update! I go to your website every now and then to see if I can see the new puppies and oooh and aaah at them and remember when Jax was that small.
Thanks again for an adorable, loving family dog. We love him and I’m fairly certain he loves ALL of us very equally. I’ve attached some pictures, most are recent except for the swimming pictures those are from June.
Hope all is well!
Michelle, Colby, Eli, Elise and Jax H.