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Preparing for the New Puppy


Hi, I'm Marie Hedeman and together with my husband, Karl (up until he passed away September 2013), we are ASH'S-MYSTICAL POODLES. Growing up, I had miniature poodles as pets and aspired, since the 7th grade, to have my own show dogs. When Karl and I were married, in 1974, my miniature poodle, Happy, was in our wedding party. Now, I am living my poodle dreams, having finished ten champions in 2001. Since then in 2006, I am listed as the # 2 breeder in the US for CHampion Toy Poodles, and in 2008 as # 1 breeder in the US for CHampion Miniature Poodles as stated in the Poodle Variety Magazine. In December 2017 was honored to become an AKC Breeder of Merit 'Platinum' for Poodles!

All of our poodles are raised and bred, with love, in our home. My breeding dogs are personally selected and genetically tested to produce the healthiest possible pups with the best temperament and trainability. Because our poodles are our children, it is imperative that I place each dog into the very best home - for it. We don't put a square peg into a round hole; we want our pups to have forever families. Health and temperament are first and foremost in our breeding goals.

Over the years, ASH'S-MYSTICAL POODLES has proudly placed pups in working-dog homes and our poodles are represented in agility, search and rescue and serve as handicapped assistance dogs, as well as loving - and much loved - family members.

When you receive your poodle pup, remember: he/she will love you unconditionally; please, treat them they same way. The more time, attention and love given to your pup, the stronger the bond. The stronger the bond, the more you will realize that poodles are not just another dog, they are the closest thing to a human with four-legs that you will find. Training time is an investment in your future happiness.

To put a little Magic in your life, get a poodle. But beware: MPS (Multiple Poodle Syndrome) is very contagious. Perhaps, like many of our clients and friends, you'll find that one is not enough.

Now, here are some tips, and some lists, to help you get ready for the new pup.

Welcome to our family

There's no better feeling than knowing a new puppy will soon be on its way into your heart and into your home. If you've had a puppy before, you realize that preparation is the key to making the transition from breeder's home to your home easy. And, if this is your maiden voyage, our booklet, Welcoming Home Your New Puppy, given to every puppy owner, will be a more thorough resource guide for you. That booklet explains, in more detail, many of the points that are only briefly mentioned here, as well as brand new ones.

However, you will need to have a few things on hand before the puppy arrives, as well as preparing yourself and your family mentally. A game plan will make the transition smooth - - for both you and the pup.

Here are some points to discuss within your family so that everyone can agree on a routine for raising your newest family member.

Mentally planning for the pup

  • One adult in the household must accept the ultimate responsibility for the pup. This includes feeding, elimination, making scheduled vet and grooming appointments and checking to insure other household members are, in fact, doing their puppy chores in a timely and reliable manner.
  • Housebreaking is often easier using a crate, and it can also provide a safe "den" for the puppy. Dogs are social animals and want to be with their people. Discuss the best place to place the crate, like a wide hallway or family room. You may also move the crate into the bedroom of the main caregiver upon retiring, until the pup adjusts to its new home and is sleeping throughout the night.
  • Never crate a pup longer than three or four hours without planning a break for relieving itself, getting a drink of water and having a snack. Playtime is also important. If you must leave your dog unattended for a longer period of time, decide if you will gate the kitchen or use a well-vented laundry room. Perhaps a friend or neighbor can drop in for a mid-day puppy break while you are at work, just until your puppy is used to its new home environment. And during this adjustment period, plan ahead, in case you must work overtime, too.
  • Routine makes puppy raising easier. Decide where and when the puppy will be fed, watered and taken outdoors to relieve itself. Routine gives your new pup a sense of security and helps with housebreaking and training.
  • Learning basic obedience can be a fun and educational way to spend time with your dog. Check into private instructors or group classes. Dogs need to know the rules, which every member of the family should follow fairly and consistently.
  • Every pup needs to be socialized with people of both sexes and all ages. Plan activities that will socialize your pup with other animal and environments, while not overwhelming the newest family member. Read the article on our web site on Early Puppy Socialization to become familiar with the "do's and don'ts."
  • Find a veterinarian. You may wish to visit several clinics in your area that have been recommended by friends and family members. Look for a knowledgeable, friendly staff and clean environment. Make certain you understand the importance of the puppy's inoculation schedule before you begin training and socialization. Never take your puppy outside your home until your veterinarian gives you an OK. Diseases, such as Parvo, can overwhelm a young pup. Read the article on our web site on Canine Parvo Virus; it may save your dog's life.
  • Find a groomer. Again, visit several shops in your area that have been recommended. Ask your veterinarian if he has a preference, too. You want your poodle to look forward to being groomed. Using an understanding groomer is the best way to gain your pup's trust and avoid future problems with bathing and clipping. Start the pup off with a patient, gentle person who will maximize the experience and help the pup learn that going to the groomer is fun.
  • Build a support system. Keep a list of people you can call for information, ideas and help. Of course, your breeder and veterinarian will be included. Others to include are your feed store, groomer, poison control center and emergency veterinary hospital that is open nights and weekends.

Shopping List for the New Pup

The basic shopping list for your new pup may include these items:

  • Food - check with Marie to determine the proper sized kibble
  • A few cartons of plain yogurt to mix in, by the teaspoon, with dry kibble for the first few days to ease any digestive problems and stress diarrhea
  • Bowls - at least 2 water bowls and 1 food dish
  • Pooper-scooper and plastic bag(s) or separate trash for dog droppings
  • A foldable water dish or a non-spill bowl is great for later outings
  • Crate - all of the pups come with a crate, so please check with Marie before purchasing
  • Crate pan or crate pad - or both - sized to your crate (really is not necessary to begin with, an old towel or t-shirt that smells like you works great). But if you want to get an open wire crate for future or to use in a family area best to get one that will work when the pup is an adult and divide off as a puppy; check with Marie
  • Baby gate(s) - if you must confine the pup to a kitchen or laundry room
  • Exercise pen - if your yard is not securely fenced, or if a very small pup may escape under a fence or gate, you will need a secure area for the pup to play and another for it to relieve itself. You may also construct secure areas with mesh or plastic wire and a few fence posts. Be careful that the pup cannot catch its head in the fencing material.

    Note: The best rule is never let a new pup go outdoors alone. Initially, you must be with it to direct it to the proper place to relieve itself, and then to praise, praise, praise. During outdoor playtime, the pup must be supervised. If you have a swimming pool - create a safe haven away from the pool, just as you would for a toddler.

  • Leash - leather is easiest on your hands and recommended for training
  • Retractable leash - for when the pup is older and wants to explore on walks
  • All pups come with a collar and a leash, make certain to have an ID TAG
  • Toys that are size appropriate for your pup. Pups enjoy a variety of textures:
    • Plush toys - with nothing the pup can remove and swallow or choke on
    • Kong toy - great for teething and for playing
    • Booda bones, cow's ears, beef tendons, Tracheas
    • Bully Sticks (either beef or buffalo) from the US, Argentina, or Brazil
    • American made large, knotted rawhide bones (if you want to use rawhide but not recommended)
    • Hard rubber ball, Frisbee and tug - - for outdoor playtime
    • NO chopped or formed bones - they splinter
    • NO stick type rawhide - they can jam into the throat of the pup or dog
    • NO pigs ears, rolls, snouts - they are too greasy for the puppy and your
    • carpeting
    • NO old shoes or old socks or other household objects

    Note: Throw out all small pieces to prevent the pup from swallowing them whole and either choking or having an intestinal obstruction.

  • Large stuffed animal (puppy proofed) for the pup to cuddle when in the crate or its bed in the kitchen or laundry room. And, place this cuddly-toy in the crate with the pup when you move it into your room at night, too.
  • Bitter apple spray - to keep the pup from chewing inappropriately
  • A white vinegar and water solution 50-50, in a spray bottle - accidents will happen
  • Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo or a very gentle conditioning shampoo for the pup
  • Baby-sized toothbrush and canine active enzyme toothpaste, purchased from your vet; using toothpaste for people is dangerous for your pet
  • Slicker brush, pin brush, greyhound comb (metal comb) and nail clippers
  • A pair of long-nose hair-pullers or hemostats (without locks), ear powder, cotton balls and rubbing alcohol to properly maintain the poodle's ears

    Note: Do not attempt to remove the hair from inside the ear until your vet tech, veterinarian or groomer has shown you the proper method. To avoid a lifetime of fear and anxiety in your poodle, have a professional introduce you and the pup to this procedure.

Helpful household items to have on hand are

  • White vinegar - for odor/stain removal
  • Old white terrycloth towels - for puppy's bedding, puppy's bath and blotting stains
  • An old T-shirt you have slept in - - to comfort the pup with your smell during the first few night in its new home
  • Spray bottles -one for keeping a solution of vinegar and water and one for diluting shampoo - mark each one
  • Sanitizing solution, properly diluted, for cleaning surfaces - not the pup
  • Colored spray bottles (or mark with duct tape) for keeping a solution of bleach and water at each entrance to your home, if you are in an area where Canine Parvo Virus is epidemic. Before each time someone enters the home, have them spray the bottom of their shoes and their hands, then blot with paper towels and discard those towels outside the home

    Note: Please read the article on Parvo on our web site. NEVER spray the pup or other dogs with the bleach solution. And remember: bleach will remove color from clothing.

  • Hot water bottle - to wrap in old towels to comfort the pup during the first few nights in its new home
  • Radio to provide soothing music and a human voice for the pup when it must be left alone
  • Set up a system of sold waste disposal in the area of your yard where the pup will be trained to relieve itself

Whether you are picking your pup up at the airport, or driving it all the way home in a car, here are some items to have on hand for the initial journey

  • Plain white paper towels
  • Water for "washing" any messes
  • Zip lock bags to contain the "mess" and those used paper towels
  • Old sheet to spread across the seat area - and a clean one, just in case
  • 3 or 4 large plastic garbage bags to use under the sheet or to contain a soiled sheet
  • A second person - - if you are driving - - to deal with the puppy; better yet, let them drive so that you and the pup can begin bonding immediately
  • Bottled water for the puppy to drink - and a bowl
  • A chew or soft toy - - to divert the pup's attention
  • A tape/CD of soft music to soothe the pup - no heavy metal on this trip, please
  • A light collar will be on the puppy when it arrives; and a leash will be on top of the kennel
  • Leave other pets at home, as well as small children, so that the trip can be as soothing as possible for the pup
Please remember: Your pup may be nervous and stressed. It has been through many new experiences in a very short time. This is the first time it has been away from the only home it has known. How would you feel in the same situation?

Be patient and stay calm. This is not the time to begin training or scolding. Expect the worse, so no matter what happens, you are mentally, and physically, prepared to nurture the pup and offer it comfort, understanding and love.


A few words of common advice: pups are pups; they aren't human children. Training that is fair and consistent leads to a much happier pet. The Internet is a wonderful tool for research, but please remember not to believe or do everything that you read there. It is important that you check with your breeder, first. You may also find information on a variety of subjects. However, please check with your breeder or veterinary health care provider before using ANY diets, supplements or products that you hear about on bulletin boards or in chat rooms. I do NOT recommend a raw diet. Please go to this web site and read the information carefully: 

Having a new puppy in the family is wonderful. Quickly, your pup will come to understand the routine you've carefully planned. In a short time, the pup will be ready to explore its world and begin learning obedience commands. As the months fly by, you'll wake up one morning to notice that the adorable pup is now a beautiful, confident and loving adult dog. Of course, this is when many clients decide to add a second poodle to their home. Other clients decide to get two pups at the same time, to keep each other company. As long as you have the time to train both pups, and socialize them individually, as well as together, this is fine.

Welcome to our family. We enjoy receiving stories about our pups, and pictures, too. We're happy to answer questions and have a network of nutritional, health care and behavioral resources to share, if needed. I'm always ready to help you enhance your poodle experience or to offer tips and advice.

Taking time to plan for your new pup's arrival is essential to your overall success. I hope you've found this information, and our more extensive booklet, Welcoming Home Your New Puppy, helpful. The time, training and love you invest now will pay off handsomely in the future. You're poodle will gladly provide you with unconditional love for many years to come.

Best wishes to you and your pup,
Marie Hedeman
Ash's Mystical Poodles

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