I had a few requests to share an update on how life has been since getting our mini golden doodle, Mabel, as well as the new puppy supplies we’ve needed so far!
First, I cannot even begin to describe the unexpected blessing Mabel has been to our family. I was talking to a friend the other day about how much Mabel has brought our family together in a new way. She is something our entire family loves, takes care of, and has bonded over together. And I feel like we each have a different relationship with her (she knows who to nudge when she needs to go out, who will stop everything to pick her up and cuddle her, who will chase her around when she has the zoomies, who will let her on the couch, etc.).
Mabel definitely keeps us on our toes, has boundless energy, is very bitey (a bad playful habit we are constantly trying to break), eats literally everything in sight (which makes taking her outside challenging — we have to swab acorns, sticks, leaves, and gumballs, etc. out of her mouth every 5 seconds), and loves to chew on anything and everything.
However, life has been so fun, full, and exciting with her. We all cannot get enough of this sweet little girl and I feel so lucky that I get to spend the most time with her.
It honestly feels like she’s been part of our family forever already!
Our Breeder & Puppy School
A few people have asked me about our breeder and whether or not we thought the training was worth it.
We got Mabel from Charlotte Dog Club and couldn’t be happier. The entire process was just so easy, organized, and seamless. So yes, we would absolutely recommend CDC if you’re looking for a dog to join your family!
Puppy training was something we knew we needed some help with. We were spoiled with Charlie, the most incredible dog ever, and really wanted another well-mannered dog. We went back and forth on whether to put Mabel through puppy preschool before we brought her home or wait until she was a little older and ultimately decided to go for it (knowing we’d likely need to do additional training when she’s older).
We brought Mabel home at 11 weeks old after she completed 3 weeks of training. In puppy preschool, they laid the groundwork (using positive reinforcement) for housebreaking, crate training, playpen training, scheduled feeding, socialization, and some basic commands (sit, come, stay).
While there are PLENTY of things we need to work on with her, I do feel CDC delivered on preschool. She’s hit or miss on following those basic commands (and she will only do them for me), but the money was well spent in my opinion on the housebreaking and crate training.
From the day we brought her home, Mabel has loved her crate and happily sleeps through the night (we take her out around 10 pm and 6 am). She did have an accident in her crate the first two nights when we didn’t get to her early enough, and she has had several accidents in the house too, but those have all been our fault for not taking her out on her schedule, and are pretty infrequent now.
I also have appreciated the introduction to common household noises and experiences (umbrellas, vacuum cleaners, thunder, plastic bags, etc.) more than I thought. The only noises that have scared her so far have been motorcycles and our house alarm going off.
Off-leash training is something I will really want to do with her later though. And if she continues trying to eat everything in sight on our walks, then I’m going to need some professional help with that too.
Sprinkles and Mabel
Sprinkles could care less about Mabel. And Mabel is mostly confused and curious about her. However, Mabel did just learn how to climb the staircase to the playroom where Sprinkles lives so we’re extra cautious about keeping that door closed and the stairs blocked.
We Take Her Everywhere
This puppy is literally ALWAYS with me. When she isn’t on my hip while I do chores or asleep in my lap while I work, she’s following me around the house or sitting co-pilot in my passenger seat. She loves the carpool line, drive-thrus, attending the kids’ soccer games, and loves a restaurant patio!
We continue to take her to as many places as possible too. She’s been camping, to the beach, hiking, a hotel stay, and more.
Preparing For Mabel
In full transparency, even though I thought we had done all the things to prepare, I really felt a little lost after bringing her home — kind of like when I brought our babies home from the hospital. Thankfully, we were able to figure out a routine pretty quickly (we followed the meal plan and potty training we received from her breeder) but there are still things I’m learning as we go!
New Puppy Supplies
A few new puppy supplies that have been useful to us:
- Soft Dog Collar: An inexpensive collar that is really pretty. I love the gold metal buckle too. Comes in lots of colors.
- Foldable Play Pen: This is the most similar play pen I can find to the one we received from our breeder. If I need to leave the house without Mabel, I put her in her play pen. She will also go lay in her play pen if she’s tired.
- Dog Shampoo: This shampoo is seriously the “Noodle & Boo” of pet shampoos and smells like heaven. It’s a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner, cleans and softens Mabel’s coat really well, and is paraben/dye/soap-free. The scent is papaya and coconut but it doesn’t smell tropical to me at all.
- Belt Bag: The MVP of all the pet things. Anytime we take Mabel outside, we’ve got the belt bag with us! It holds her treats, poop bags, my sunglasses, chapstick, and phone.
- Poop Bag Dispenser: We quickly learned this was a must-have after digging through the belt bag one handed trying to grab and unroll the bags when we needed them.
- Backpack Carrier: We bring this with us when we take Mabel out and about with us. And she LOVES it.
- Purina Pro Plan High Protein Food: The food our breeder and vet recommended.
- Crawling Crab Toy: Instagram served up a targeted ad for this chasing crab for Mabel and I couldn’t purchase it fast enough. It has been hysterical watching Mabel chase this crab, that also chases her. It lights up, has funny music and sounds, and moves fast!
- Bitter Apple No Chew Spray: Mabel likes to chew on ALL THE WEIRD THINGS like window ledges, the hardwood floor (yes, don’t ask me how, but she’s figured out a way), the edge of the stairs, the list goes on. This spray Wworks like a charm and I am so thankful this was recommended to us!
- Blanket: The blanket we keep in her crate.
- Stain & Odor Eliminator: An absolute MUST. It’s got over 100K+ reviews and works really well to remove stains and odors.
- Leak-Proof Crate w/ Divider: The divider is key for crate training!
- Snuggle Puppy: Our breeder provided this to us to help with Mabel’s transition to her new home, crate training, and it helps reduce stress and anxiety. It’s soft and snuggly and has a heartbeat that mimics a mother. Also has 60K+ reviews on Amazon.
- Puppy Chew Toys: It’s not possible to have too many chew toys. Trust me. They are all over our house and she chews on them all!
- Double Handle Reflective Dog Leash
- No Pull Reflective Harness Vest: I take Mabel out 14,000 times a day so she pretty much wears this no-pull harness from the time she wakes up until bedtime. It’s soft and comfortable and the handle is super handy.
- Gorilla Grip Stainless Steel Bowls
- Silicone Non-Stick Waterproof Food Mat
- Training Treats: I break these into a million pieces for rewards when we go for walks.
- Portable Dog Bowls: I keep these in my car for when we’re on the go. We also use these when we’re traveling.
As Mabel gets older and we purchase new supplies, I’ll add them to my Amazon Storefront!
I wanted to update this post to include the pet insurance recommendations you all suggested. Here were the most popular pet insurance providers (in order of popularity):
- Nationwide (#1 recommendation as a lot of corporate companies offer this!)
- Pets Best (tied with Healthy Paws)
- Healthy Paws (tied with Pets Best)