Sugarbabies’s First Bath

I cannot say enough, what great puppies these are.  So mild mannered and sweet!


There have been so many wonderful litters here in the past, but  never has one gone so smoothly.  
It could be the beautiful weather and the timing.  These guys are mostly pottying outside now, which helps a lot!


Goldendoodles are smart, loving, and learn quickly.  But some are easier than others.  I hit the jackpot with nine easy ones at once!


One little girl did have a fear issue from loud noises, but it was mild and I worked with her, so that seems to have gone away.


I am definitely blessed to have these sweethearts.


Not a single complaint was lodged about first  baths.


As a matter of fact, they were all so relaxed that one little boy was so trusting that he didn’t bother to set his feet down when I put him in the water.  He sort of bobbed around then slowly floated over.  It was pretty funny, because he didn’t even get upset when his face went under.  
That pup seemed to enjoy the bath.  Two didn’t like it much, but did not cry.  The others all just acted like it was part of their day.  I was impressed.

They were all pretty cute.  Maybe they were so mellow about it because Molly was right there with them the whole time.  They adore her.

My Steps of Crate Training


I feel like crate training should be gradual.  


When the pups are born, they live in a whelping box my husband built. Next, they move to a wading pool so they have more space.  When weaning time comes along and they get smellier, they head to the breezeway and right back into the whelping box nest.

But this time, it is upside down, so they can run in and out easier.


After a bit, a small kennel goes inside their nest. They consider it a part of their life, not something foreign, and climb in and out for naps.

As they get bigger, the potty production becomes more and more messy and frequent.  
Since I hose out the breezeway multiple times a day, the wooden box needs to go, and is replaced by a wire kennel.

Next to that are the smaller kennels, each with doors propped open and something inviting to lay on.


Coming up, I will introduce a Snuggle Puppy toy, it is a cuddly dog with a heartbeat.  Once they are used to it being their new litter mate, I’ll start shutting the doors on a few babies at a time with a Snuggle Puppy in with them.

As they are used it that, I’ll move a kennel away from their nest and shut one inside with the toy.   I sit nearby and offer treats if there is any fear.  

Because I never want my babies to be scared!  

Each dog has its own level of acceptance to the process, and some do better than others.  When you get your pup home, there will be an adjustment to new surroundings and you should try to make their crate as cozy as possible.  Treats, Snuggle Pup, soft pillow, and maybe sit next to them for a while if needed.

Do not use the crate only when you leave the house.  Many times throughout the day, happily call your pup, put it inside for a short period.  They should learn to have positive connections to the crate, it will become their safe place, their den.


Baxter and Bella is a training source that you can turn to 24 hours a day if you need more training tips.  I highly recommend their site.  



Puppy Portrait Day

If I had known how beautifully the Sugarbabies were going to pose for me, I’d have given them a bath!

So far, I have been wiping them down with washcloths, but I think it’s time to give them a good soaking. 
The weather has been really nice, I might just wash them in the wading pool outside.


First I’ll have to line up some puppy snugglers to help dry and keep them warm.


The babies always  love that part.


It has been nice to have a lightbox to take the photos in.


They are outgrowing it, this will be my last time using it.


Since they are outside now, it shouldn’t be a problem, I’ll be able to take their pics in natural light.

And with talented models like these, it’s easy to get good photos.  
They are honestly very good at posing, and not just because they are as cute as the dickens.  They pretty much sit and let me take their pictures.

What good puppies!

Sitting Pretty


My babies will all sit together at the same time now!  Getting a photo of nine, 4 week old babies sitting at once isn’t easy, but these sweet pups are getting better at it each day.

5424C437-630B-411C-B9D2-7DB02F60407BWhy does it matter to me?  Well, I don’t like to be jumped on, first of all.  And if I can get a puppy to sit down quietly and look at me, instead of being an excited little hooligan, it makes life easier for all of us.


Oh believe me, they have their hooligan moments, they are happy healthy puppies full of excitement! But I like to know that they will listen when needed. 
Funny, on our trip out east last fall to take pups to new homes, I’d let the overwhelming horde of dogs take over.  We’d open the kennel door and everyone would try to come out at once like a furry waterfall, as we vainly did our best to push them back, hook on leashes and let one out at a time. 
At our very first stop, I was frustrated and feared the rest of the trip- I was out numbered!

After a day of struggles, it occurred to me to tell them to have a seat.  

Magically, all five plopped right down on their cute, fuzzy bottoms and waited their turn for leashes.  Puppies will do whatever they want if allowed, but if you teach them what to do, they want to please you.
 I am also working on  “come, puppy, come!” They already come running to me when I walk up to them, so it is usually an easy lesson.

Teaching a dog to come to you can save its life   Always make this a priority to work on with your pup.  As these little ones get older, we will play “Ping Pong Puppy” with them, by having two or more people with treats in hand, calling the pup back and forth.  They learn to answer to multiple people, not just to me and they think that running to someone when called is a fun game with tasty rewards.


There is no way I can promise a fully trained, 8 week old pup to anyone.  But I can give those babies a great start and foundation for the future by teaching them how to listen and to be receptive to what their family reaches them.










Crate Training has Begun

I promise, these guys really do have soft pillows!

But yesterday, they preferred rocks.BED94EFE-E8E5-44AA-90C4-27BBFFE598A3
It was their first, big day out and they were so into being outdoor dogs, they embraced every aspect of it.

Including using the upside down fire pit as a den.  They also discovered it makes a good slide while playing King of the Hill.

But the day wasn’t just about playtime.  We got some work done too.  Here they are working as hard as they can to master Crate Training.

I put a kennel in their sleeping area and propped the door open for them to crawl in and out.  By the time I am ready to shut one in with the door closed, they won’t even notice.



Teaching the puppies to sit when they are just tiny, sure makes things easier.  Like when I want them to pose for a photo.


Although posing with a prop is never easy, because it topples a lot or they are more interested in playing with it than sitting.


Sitting is a fleeting thing for them, but at least they know the concept and are trying.

For weigh ins and meds yesterday, the sitting was iffy, but they did hold still and cooperate.  
Doodles are such smart dogs, and even this young, they want to please.

I’m proud of their efforts.  

Four cute little boys

For look a likes, these brothers are quite a bit different.  The one on the left seems to take after his poodle dad while the one on the right has more of a golden retriever shaped face.
Both are sweet as pie! 
As is this big boy.  Well, I call him the big boy, he is the largest of the litter, but he is just a little baby, not really big at all.


Isn’t he a handsome fella?


This little dumpling is growing into his looks.  He has lovely coloring, but wasn’t as photogenic as the other bros ( please don’t ever tell him I said that).  As he grows and fills out, he is becoming a gorgeous guy.


See what I mean?


These four boys are still available.  Please contact me for details if you’d like a sweetheart of a good looking guy to be a part of your family.  


the doodle babies are growing fast!

These guys are progressing by the minute.


In a matter of hours, we had the first wrestling match, playful growl, and tail wag.


You would think that such momentous milestones would take a while to happen.


But nope, they happen lightening fast.


Sugar kept putting stuffed toys in the puppy pond, and I kept taking them out because they could be a smothering hazard for tiny babies.

One morning, I’m taking toys away, and the very next, they are playing with one and big enough to handle it.


Eye contact is improving throughout the day too.

At this point, about half of them turn to look when they hear my voice.


I’ll betcha a dollar that by tomorrow morning, they will all be running to me to be picked up.  Or at least waddling, drunkenly to me.

They still sleep most of the time.

After playing, they were almost too tired for a quick photo session.

They mostly wanted to snuggle up and sleep through pictures.  Or try to nurse the fuzzy throw they were on.

Sweet, sleepy babies!

Growing that fast is hard work!

An anniversary

Today is the one year anniversary of Ryan’s death.  It feels both like ages ago and just yesterday.   He loved puppies as much as I did, and having this new litter to hold is helping me get through this week.   When I cuddle one, I think about my boy’s hugs and how much fun we had playing with and laughing at the antics of cute little puppies.


Friends have been very helpful with the anniversary too.  Last night, a group brought over dinner and wine, and we all did some puppy hugging together.


The Sugarbabies were happy with all of the attention.


Thank you to my buddies for being there for me, and to Sugar for giving me all of these furry bundles of love when I really needed them.


Holding a soft, warm puppy is good for the soul.




Two Weeks Old

The pups have grown too big for their whelping box and have moved into the wading pool as their new nest.  We put a fence around it to convince Sugar that I’d rather not be woken up at 5am.  I guess she thinks that if she is up, I should be too.  Maybe she just wants some company who appreciates watching the sweet babies as much as she does.


Albie also loves watching the babies.  He has been completely fascinated by every litter, and spends a lot of time up on the back of the recliner with a bird’s eye view into their nest.

But as soon as the little guys get playful and want to wrestle him, he keeps his distance and stays up on the back of the chair so they can’t reach him.  
Today is their 2nd week birthday, and all eyes are open.


I love their befuddled looks when they are trying to figure out just what is going on and who is holding them.


They have also had some experiments in trying to bark.


I just heard one a few minutes ago that was definitely a real, live  bark- not a squeak.


There is a lot of squeaking, the sound effects are pretty dang cute.


Tomorrow, they get their first worming.  And I’m going to trim up their sharp nails too.  Sugar should appreciate that.


If I can, I’ll make a video of the nail cutting.  I try to post videos regularly on Instagram at Cottage Doodles.


Check out the videos if you want to hear just how cute the little squeaks are.