Our Christmas Surprise!


Soooo excited about our fun Christmas surprise for our kids today! Meet Summit ~ our new Goldendoodle. (My kids said last Spring that if we ever bought a dog they'd name him Summit so that when he got in trouble we could holler “dadgummit, Summit!”) 🙂



When we moved to Ohio so many folks shared that getting a pet might help our house feel more like home, and already (in the 3 hours we've had him!) he seems to be just the perfect fit for our family. We are new to house training and having an indoor dog though, so I could sure use any tips you have.

If you have any recommendations on favorite pet toys, house training, or puppies in general I would love to hear them ~ we're so excited but a little lost too. So much fun though!


(Pretty sure watching a sleeping puppy is like watching a sleeping baby – they just look so perfect, and it's the only time they stand still. We love him already!)




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  1. Sweet, I know that you will love it. My sweet Boston Terrier is 12 and has brought so much joy to me and my family.

    • Thank you Delora! We’ve been so scared about the work of having a puppy, but have heard they’re such a gift and think we’re going to love him. Thanks for sharing!

  2. He’s adorable. 🙂

  3. We have a 5 month old lab/golden retriever mix (Jack). He is a BIG boy and going to just get BIGGER. We found at Petsmart a good teething toy is the “Kong” break up treats to add into it and can even add peanut butter to keep him distracted and he bounces it to get the treats out. The kong comes in different sizes to go with size of the dog. Love it. Good luck with Summit

  4. Amy Huffman Cottingham says

    Get a kennel, if you don't already have one…attach a bell to your door (the one you'll be letting him out of to go to the bathroom) it will condition him to ring the bell later for potty breaks, this worked like a charm for our pooch …walk him on a lead around your house before going out w the lead for walks, or when you have new people over to keep him from jumping up (this didn't work for us, but I've heard it does) It's cute when they jump as puppies, but not as full grown dogs. Stick w good dog food, it's pricey, but worth it in the long run.

    • Jennifer B. says

      Lots of good advice posted here already. I totally agree with this post to get a kennel. It is NOT a cage! It is a safe zone for him. It will help with potty training as well as sleeping and even traveling issues down the road. Don’t let the kids “bother” him when he is in his kennel. (We leave ours open except when our dog is kenneled at night, and I am constantly amazed at just how often our dog chooses to go in there!) Get one that will accommodate his full size, even if it doesn’t have a separator for while he is smaller, unless you want to purchase another (larger) one later. (That wasn’t in my penny pinching plans!) Make it cozy and sort of quiet, but still in the main area of the house where you hang out most in the day if possible.

      As a puppy, be sure Summit is confined to just certain areas of the house — preferably non-carpeted areas that you can easily clean. Puppies will have accidents. Their bladders are tiny and they need lots of opportunities to go out and lots of praise when they do it right! Dog-free zones of the house are OK — it doesn’t mean you don’t love him! And you can always allow him access to more later, but it is really hard to keep them out of things they’ve already become accustomed to visiting.

      Think now about what you want a full-grown Summit to have access to and where you want him to do his “business” and direct him to that area now. It is a lot like with children — even if it is “cute” now (jumping up, barking, etc.), do you really want to encourage it and have it become a habit for LIFE?

      One thing we did with our last dog, which I found very helpful, is requiring him to sit before entering or exiting the house. This was designed to keep him from running out open doors into possible dangerous situations and also to encourage him to realize we (the humans) are the leaders and tell him when he can enter or exit. It also helped a lot with coming inside, allowing us to wipe his paws off (if needed).

      Most of all, congratulations on your newest member of the family!

      • Wonderful advice Jennifer. You really know your stuff! We have seven dogs on our farm . They come in and out and the crates are the best thing . They each have their own in the house believe it or not haha!

  5. Monica Fusco Lukanski says

    A kong filled with Peanut butter, immediately take out the puppy after eating repeat the same phrase (go potty for example) and do not come in until they do something then once they do, immediately reward with cheese, a tired puppy can not be a destructive puppy, be sure to socialize but IMHO dog parks are a disaster, take them in the car as often as possible, go to puppy training classes, take lots and lots of pictures. And, finally, 2 is always better than one. Seriously. Have fun!

  6. Sarah Klabenes says

    We did crate training for potty training. Worked like a charm! Good luck and remember the puppy stage lasts for a good 1-2 years 🙂

  7. Crystal Casteel Mcnabb says

    Ours we just took him out all the time. Like every time he woke up and started moving outside we went.

  8. All the above ideas! Crate train, take out often and repeat instruction phrases ( go whiz…go pooh…etc), get a puppy bell to hang on door and teach him to ring it when he needs to go out, Kings are great and nearly indestructible ( except by my Scottie), socialize him early, feed a good brand of dog food and treats ( our vet approved the Blue Buffalo brand), but most of all shower him with love! Best wishes for your new family member!

  9. Amie Barsch Odahl says

    Crate training is important! I recently watched a puppy training class – the teacher said to keep the puppy on a leash attached to someone – at all times – if that's not possible – the dog is put in the crate. With the dog on leash – it can't get into trouble and you are always on guard for potty times!

  10. Amie Barsch Odahl says

    Crate training is important! I recently watched a puppy training class – the teacher said to keep the puppy on a leash attached to someone – at all times – if that's not possible – the dog is put in the crate. With the dog on leash – it can't get into trouble and you are always on guard for potty times!

  11. Congrats on the new addition. I think every child needs a dog(pet). We have 3 and even though there are times they drive me nuts, they are members of the family and we love them too. Merry Christmas to all!

  12. Keep him off laminate floor areas. Puppy messes will destroy your floor. 20 minutes after eating is time to go out, and immediately after playing.

  13. Helen Abercrombie Stuart says

    We used a crate when we weren't with ours all the time, and I took them out OFTEN to encourage the habit of using the bathroom outside. If you use a crate, take him out as soon as you let him out of the crate. And with puppies, you just need much patience, but they are so worth it.

  14. Congratulations! What a fun surprise for your children. He will definitely bring a lot of fun and laughter into your family. We have raised 4 puppies for Guid ing Eyes for the Blind and here are a few things I learned: crating is really easy and the puppies really Love their crate. Get lots and lots of chew toys (kong, nylabone, planet dog) have great ones that last. Take him out every 20 minutes to help with house training. Good Luck and your family won’t regret it!

  15. Regina Blankenship says

    I have a little dog named Muffy, she is 13 years old. I raised her from a puppy.To train your pup you need to purchase a small cage for her to sleep in at night. Take her outside during the day about every hour or so. If she uses the cage, they usually don’t do it many times because they don’t like it. Give her a small stuffed toy, like a beany baby, she will think it’s one of her brothers or sisters.It will make her more at home and hopefully not bark for momma.

  16. Crate training definitely for potty training. Take out on leash for potty training. Short rides in car to get puppy accustomed to riding in a car. We use the bell on the door so our tiny pup can let us know when she needs to go out. Lots and lots of chew toys. Ours loves the bully sticks. Try to introduce puppy to several new people and situations every week.

  17. So happy for you guys! He will be your kids best buddy for the rest of his life! Merry Christmas to you all

  18. Teresa Eskew says

    I agree with the other posts the best thing you can do is crate your dog at night. This becomes a comfortable and safe habitat for them. Every night be consistent.

    The other thing is make him wait until you say okay to eat only feed him in his bowl ( except for training treats) and pet him while eating so he does not become territorial with food.

    He is so sweet. Look forward to years of joy.

  19. JaNelle Casson says

    Goldendoodled are very smart and need lots of mental stimulation. I suggest dog training to include your children. Quickly establish who are the leaders of the "pack." Their temperment is similar to a toddler in their terrible twos or a child with ADHD (no ill feelings intended-i have a son with ADHD inattentive type). We had one and ultimately ended up rehoming her because her temperment was not a match for our family dynamics. They are wonderfully loving and smart dog but take work to train. (Just my experience and i know doesnt reflect all experiences).

  20. Thank you so much everyone for all your wonderful tips! We’re taking him out one last time right now and then crossing our fingers he does okay in his crate. I know it’ll be tough for a few nights, but hoping he gets used to it! So far he’s been calmer than I expected, but I’m pretty sure his toddler days are just around the corner. 🙂

    Thanks so much for all the wonderful suggestions!

  21. What a cute doodle! We have a golden doodle also. She is five years old and weighs 105 lbs! We never imagined she would get this big! We do not have a fence and taught her to ring a bell when she has to go potty. She’s very sweet and loving with us, but she is VERY territorial! I know you all love your sweet Summit!

  22. Carol Peshman says

    Crate training is a great way to go. If you are home and he is out of the crate tether him to you so you know if he needs to go outside. Do not play tug with him until he listens and learns to drop things on command. If he is agressive roll him on his back and trll him no. Make sure to do that with all the kids and adults. To show him who is boss. Dont forget to condition him for grooming so that he will allow you to trim nails , brush or what not. If he is not a fetch dog see if he likes cat wands and play outside great way to burn energy.above all enjoy.

  23. We crate trained our yorkie. Best decision ever! That is her safe place, and when she has had enough of the kids she goes in there and rests. She also sleeps in it at night. Most dogs won’t use the bathroom where they sleep so it was super easy.

  24. Chelsea Dorroh says

    So happy you got a dog! I advise you to watch Cesar Milan’s “Dog Whisperer” show or order his DVDs. He has a really great method for training dogs. Also, when you decide to get another dog please check out your local shelters or rescues. There are so many homeless animals that would love a family. Or even a cat! 🙂

    • Thanks Chelsea! The biggest reason we got Summit was due to allergy issues ~ we’d taken in a cat several years ago and were horribly allergic, so needed a pet that we knew would be best for allergies. We kept talking about ways to adopt one but didn’t know of an option for my husband and allergy-ful kids. So far right now so good though (and he’s a cutie!) 🙂


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