Flying Home Instructions for Your New Goldendoodle Puppy

The exciting day when your new puppy will be flying home to you is fast approaching. Let’s start with identifying which airport you would like the puppy to arrive at and three dates that work best for you to receive your girl.  The only day I do not send puppies is Sunday.  If there is a particular time range that is better, let me know that as well.  Please send me an email with the airport/dates/times that work for you. Please also give me the name of who will be picking up the puppy at the airport, so I can give the airline the correct contact information. For ease of reading these flying home instructions, we refer to the puppy as a girl, but these instructions would apply to a boy puppy as well.

So you know a timeline of what to expect, when I book the flight I will email you flight arrangements, including where you will need to go at the airport to pick up the puppy and other pertinent information.  I will prepay the flight, so all you will need to do is go to the airport pick up location and show photo ID to receive her.  The airport location will be the cargo facility, baggage claim office or ticket counter and will be confirmed in the flight arrangements. 

Shortly after I send the flight information, I will also email you the puppy’s health record which will contain her current vaccinations, preventative dewormers and such information on it.  Be sure your vet gets this record so they know what has already been done with the puppy and what still needs to be done to complete her puppy immunizations. Once you receive the flight information and health record, her final payment is due. The payment details are at the bottom of this page.

On The Ride Home from the Airport

For going home from the airport, you/the family can hold the puppy on your lap (take along an old blanket or towel), or leave her in her travel crate if you live near the airport.  Once you are home, give her a chance to potty and offer her food and water.  This is a good time to bond with her, so plenty of cuddling and play are great.  

Recommended Potty Training Routine

We recommend the crate training method of potty training.  Dogs avoid going to the bathroom near their eating and sleeping areas, so they will by instinct try to keep their den (crate) clean.  If you are interacting with her, she could stay out of her crate as long as you like.  When she has to potty she will start to circle and sniff looking for a place to potty.  You will quickly pick up on her body language and can take her outside (through the same door to the same spot in the yard).  If you are not going to be watching her, put her in her crate.  A rule of thumb for time in the crate is one hour per month of age for a puppy.  So, she should not be left in the crate more than about 2 hours at this point.  She can hold it longer than that, but we don’t want her to have to get in the habit of holding it for a long time, especially as you are beginning her potty training.  Give her plenty of opportunities to potty and if she has been in the crate for a while be sure she has a chance to run and play before she is crated again. The wire crates with an adjustable divider are very nice, as you can make the crate small enough that she only has room to lay down spread out comfortably.  Do not leave the crate any larger than this as then a puppy will be more likely to think one corner of the big crate is her potty and the other corner is her den/bed/clean area.  Do not put any blankets/beds in the crate for the first month since a puppy is less likely to soil its crate if it is left bare.  However, it would be fine to leave toys in her crate.

Usual Feeding Times

For feeding, the puppy is used to eating at about 7:00 in the morning and again in the evening around 4 to 7:00pm.  Offer her food (1/3 to 1/2 cup per feeding but the specific amount for your puppy’s size and age will be on the puppy’s health record which we will email to you), putting her bowl down for 20 minutes and then taking it up again.  If she doesn’t eat anything for that feeding, just wait until her next meal to offer her food again.  She should eat twice a day.  If you would like to feed her three times a day that is okay too, just adjust the amounts accordingly.  A puppy usually needs to potty about 5 to 20 minutes after a meal so watch her closely for a potty break after she eats.  Try to be consistent about what time each day she is fed as a puppy who eats on a schedule also potties on a schedule.  Leave water available for her all the time (except for when she’s in the crate), taking it up a couple hours before bedtime.   She is used to eating the puppy food listed below.  Be sure to feed this food for at least the first week or two.  If you wish to change to another high quality dog food, do so gradually over about a 7-10 day period as switching to another food too quickly will cause loose stools.

Learning to Love Her Crate/Den

The first 3 to 5 days is the time of greatest adjustment for a puppy in its new home.  Your puppy might be intimidated by things that are new, or bark a lot when she is in her crate.  Continue to use the crate, even if she cries when she is in it as once she gets used to all the new things she will love the comfort and security of her crate/”den”.  You will notice her comfort level increasing each day that goes by.  It seems that by the time the first week is past, a puppy will be adjusted to the new routine and will have already bonded strongly with their new family.  It seems to help the puppy at night if their crate can be put in a bedroom near the family for the first few nights. Or, put her crate by the couch and have someone sleep near her.  At this age sometimes the puppies can sleep all night, sometimes they will need to get up once during the night.  If you find she is consistently getting up more than once during the night, set your alarm for around 2:00 and take her potty.  Each night move the clock back ½ hour (2:30 the 2nd night, 3:00 the 3rd night) gradually stretching out the time until she can sleep through until morning.

Grooming Routine

Grooming is an important part of owning a non-shedding dog.  Use a pin brush over the puppy’s coat once or twice a week and also comb deep into the coat once a week.  At the length she is now, grooming isn’t really needed, but it is important for her to get used to being handled.  Play with her feet, ears, toes, mouth, tail, etc.  often so she is used to it.  A haircut will be needed every two to three months.  Try to limit bathing to once a month if possible, although bathing as often as once a week is ok. As her coat grows longer, be careful that you are combing/brushing deep into the coat.  The tangles/mats will not develop on the end of the hair, but right next to the skin (especially behind the ears).

Puppy Obedience Training

We recommend taking formal obedience training classes with your puppy.  It is good for the puppy to continue to be socialized to new people, places and other dogs.  If you prefer, professional trainers can also do individual classes, or come to your home for private lessons.  Choose a class/trainer that uses gentle, positive reinforcement types of methods.  Goldendoodles are by nature a soft hearted, gentle dog, and harsh training methods can break their spirits.  (No prong collars needed).  Most classes do not allow a puppy to begin until all of their puppy shots are finished which is usually around 12-16 weeks of age.  Limit your puppy’s exposure to unknown dogs until all of her puppy shots have been finished.  Your friends’ and families’ healthy dogs with current vaccinations are fine for your puppy to be around.

For training at home (the most important kind of training), Jan Fennel’s book The Dog Listener is very helpful, and one I highly recommend reading through.  Just a few minutes each day spent in fun interaction and training with your puppy will reap lifelong benefits.   While we recommend taking obedience classes as a continued socialization experience for the puppy, as the dog’s owner you are by far the best equipped person to train your puppy.  By learning how to interact with your puppy, and understanding how a dog’s mind works, potential behavior problems will be avoided.  Help your puppy understand what her boundaries are through training.  A well mannered puppy is one who will be loved by everyone and welcome anywhere! 

Health Record and Microchip

Also, your puppy’s microchip number will need to be registered in your name.  To register (activate) your puppy’s microchip, go to Microchip ID systems at  A small one-time fee (around $25) enrolls you and the puppy for life into the 24-hour Pet Recovery Network and Call Center and into the National Pet Microchip Look up Tool.    By activating this chip you will be linking her chip number to your contact information.  Without activation, the microchip is useless, like a blank dog tag.  While we refer to the puppies on the website by a four digit number, this is only the last 4 digits of their 10 digit microchip number.  You will need the entire 10 digit number to activate her chip, which is recorded on her health record.  Your vet can also use a microchip scanner to read the microchip, which is implanted over the puppy’s shoulder blade area.   A couple weeks after you have completed this registration, check the online microchip databases that the registration has been processed.  

Checklist for Goldendoodle Puppy Supplies

Here is a link to the basic puppy supplies to have on hand when your Goldendoodle comes home. This is a list of the basic necessities. There are many other helpful and fun products available at pet supply stores.

Final Payment for Your Irish Goldendoodle Puppy

The final payment for your puppy is due when we contact you with your puppy’s flight confirmation and Health Record. The final balance is figured as follows:  $2600 + $375 shipping – $500 deposit = $2475 You can make the final payment with a check, major credit card (American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or VISA), PayPal, or Venmo.  For checks, you can mail them to Sunshine Acres, 7450 W 200 N, Wolcott, IN 47995.  If you choose to use a credit card, I will send a PayPal invoice for you to complete online or you may remit payment to my PayPal account (I’ll give you my email address, for my paypal account, as I don’t post it online).  Please let me know which option you wish to use.

If you have any questions that I have not covered, please let me know.  I would be glad to visit with you on the phone if there is anything you would like to go over before your girl comes home.  Please follow up with me so I know you have all of this information and confirm your choice of location/dates/times as we prepare for the big day.


Michael Wagenbach

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