Are you the parent of a 3-month-old Goldendoodle puppy? Wondering what the journey through every stage of Goldendoodle parenting is like? Then hold on to your dog leash! Things are about to get zoomie-worthy as we take you through what you can expect during the third month of Goldendoodle parenting.
In our continuing series on raising a Goldendoodle, we’re documenting a sweet F1 Goldendoodle puppy’s journey from puppyhood to adulthood.
As we chronicle her growing up year, we’re also sharing tips, helpful hacks, and insights on caring for a Goldendoodle puppy at every stage.
By the end of this post, you’ll not only have a comprehensive look at what to expect during the third month of Goldendoodle puppyhood, but also you’ll have practical tips on Goldendoodle puppy parenting shared by the family bringing up this fur baby.
Who are the hands and paws at Happy-Go-Doodle® sharing this experience? We’re Goldendoodle parents (I’m writing this with a senior Goldendoodle snuggled at my feet) and Goldendoodle super fans. And, with four Goldendoodles in our circle of family, we’ve had our share of real-life experiences parenting curious, friendly, and smart Goldendoodle dogs.
So let’s get this “Golden” adventure started.
Note: Happy-Go-Doodle, LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
What does a Goldendoodle look like at 3 months?
First, let’s take a look at the growth and physical appearance of Goldendoodles at three months of age.
It’s important to point out that if you have a 3-month-old Goldendoodle, your puppy’s physical appearance may look very different from our puppy, Sadie.
This is because Goldendoodles are a hybrid or crossbreed between two very different breeds—Golden Retrievers and Poodles. These two parent breeds bring a lot of variety to the mix.
For example, while our Goldendoodle puppy’s coat is a light apricot, other Goldendoodle puppy coat colors include cream, red, chocolate, black, or even parti colored.
Also, the Poodle parent breed brings a wide range of sizes to the Doodle family.
This is why there are such a wide range of weights and sizes for Goldendoodle puppies at this age. While our Goldendoodle puppy weighs about 9 pounds at three months, other Goldendoodle puppies can be much larger or smaller.
In addition to Goldendoodles growing in size, they are also growing longer coats too. Next, let’s get a picture of what the Goldendoodle coat looks like at this stage.
Coat color and type
At three months, the Goldendoodle puppy coat color probably hasn’t changed much. However, the coat is growing in length.
Also, depending on the puppy, some coats are more wavy, some straight, and some curly. Regardless of the amount of wave or curl, at three months, puppies still have their puppy coat and have not blown their coats (i.e. gone through the Goldendoodle puppy coat transition.)
The photo below gives you an idea of what our puppy’s coat looked like at 12 weeks.
Sadie is an F1 Goldendoodle. This means she is a first filial generation from two different parent breeds. Her mom is a Golden Retriever and her dad is a Moyen Poodle. At three months, her hair has become a little wavier, but not much.
Also, at three months, our family noticed our puppy’s furnishings starting to pop. “Furnishing” is the term used to describe the eyebrows, mustache, and beard that most Goldendoodles have.
However, there are some Goldendoodles who lean very much to the Retriever side of the family, and they won’t have these furnishings. They will look more like a Golden Retriever. Both are a-dood-able!
Sadie’s appearance had a “just-got-out-of-bed” look. Even after combing, at three months old, her hair fluffed in a cute, messy way.
Next, let’s look at what 3-month-old Goldendoodle puppies are doing at this stage.
Read on for some helpful tips on parenting Goldendoodle puppies at this age.
Parenting a 3-month-old Goldendoodle
So, what’s going on at three months?
Our entire pack is up for the fluffin’ fabulous task of figuring out our new little family member’s schedule, potty training, crate training, and how to help our fluffy muppet dog adjust to her new home. We’re bleary-eyed from lack of sleep and hustling to stay ahead of her curiosity.
But while our eyelids are droopy our hearts are happy.
What to expect at 3 months
At three months, Goldendoodle puppies may be curious, playful, and eager.
They are trying to understand their new home and new routines. And since many puppies are adopted around 10 weeks of age, at three months, they are probably becoming more comfortable and curious in their new surroundings.
And curiosity and exploration go hand-in-hand with puppies putting things in the mouths.
This is because a puppy uses his or her mouth to investigate the world. Also, puppy teething starts around three months of age, so there’s even more reason to chew. We gave our Goldendoodle plenty of safe chew toys like the one in the photo below. We also made sure she had a variety of textures to chew—soft materials like plush toys to tougher rubber toys like the Kong binky.
As far as a typical day, Goldendoodle puppies at this age are pretty much a constant cycle of potty-sleep-potty-play-potty-sleep with eating added as bookends to the beginning and end of the day.
Feeding nutritious puppy food is important to help them grow. And just as important to their growth is making sure they have plenty of sleep.
Much like babies or toddlers who fuss when they haven’t had a nap or sleep, puppies may get overly excited when sleep deprived, which is stressful for both puppy and puppy parent. Also, at this age, puppies are probably having some potty training success. However, don’t stress when there are accidents. And always give lots of praise for positive behaviors for potty successes.
Now that you have an idea of what to expect, here are some things that we learned as we went through this stage of parenting a 3-month-old Goldendoodle. Maybe these tips can help you too.
Caring for a 3-month-old Goldendoodle: Parenting tips
Getting potty training down. Figuring out crate training. Sleeping through the night. Getting enough mental stimulation to satisfy all that Doodle puppy curiosity. If you’re like our pack, you’re probably in the middle of figuring out all of this stuff for your 3-month-old Goldendoodle.
For our family, we were doing zoomies trying to keep up on the potty training, getting the crate training down, figuring out a schedule for our puppy that worked with our own daily schedules, and just making daily life flow. If you can relate, these tips are for you!
1. Contain the fun in one puppy-proofed space.
When we brought our Goldendoodle home at 10 weeks, we’d created a small play space that was about the size of our family room area rug using puppy gates. But by 12 weeks, our Goldendoodle was learning to nudge open the puppy gates. It was time for a new plan. Since our Goldendoodle puppy was potty training well, we opened up the space to the entire family room, which we’d puppy proofed.
2. Teach the crate at a sloowwww rate.
From the first day home, our puppy slept in a crate at night. Just as she was dropping off to sleep, we placed her in her crate and then placed the crate near us for reassurance. However, during the day, you can’t always stop what you’re doing and nap when the puppy naps (as much fun as that would be!).
For day time crate training, it’s all about taking it slow and breaking each part of the process into tiny steps that get lots of praise and rewards. But how tiny is a tiny step? Micro-tiny.
For example, the first tiny step for Sadie was giving her a treat when she poked her head in the gate to get the treat from our hands, which were inside the crate. Then, we treated her when she put her whole body in the crate. Eventually, we worked up to treating when partially closing the door, then closing the door and treating, etc. By taking it in tiny steps at a time and keeping the process positive, Sadie now loves her crate.
3. Nap time? Potty time. Play time? Potty time. Meal time? Potty time.
By three months, our Goldendoodle was really getting the hang of potty training. And, I think our family was figuring out the potty training routine too. Here’s what we were training ourselves to do…
Puppy just had a nap? It’s potty time. Puppy has been playing and looks distracted? It’s potty time. Puppy ate? Potty time in about 15 minutes. Puppy drank? Check your watch because potty time is not far away.
Additionally, as part of our bringing home a new puppy plan and preparation, we’d chosen a “potty spot” in our yard and our plan was working! We took Sadie out on leash to her designated potty area and she quickly figured out this was “the place” because she’d pottied there before. Additionally, because she was on leash, we could keep track of whether she’d pottied or not, and give lots of praise for pottying.
Commonly, puppies who are under four months of age are NOT to be able to hold their bladders. So even if a puppy wants to learn to potty where you’d like, he or she may not have the bladder control yet. Remember, to give yourself and your puppy lots of grace. And don’t ever scold your puppy or rub your puppy’s noise in it if they do have an accident.
For a complete list of potty training tips visit our post “15 Goldendoodle Potty Training Tips to Teach Your Puppy.”
4. Celebrate “potty time” like it’s “pawty time.” 🎉
As mentioned above, when your puppy potties outside, this is celebration worthy! Our family has renamed ‘potty time” “pawty time” as a way for us to remember to celebrate these moments like we’ve all won the lottery. Also, as part of the “pawty” philosophy, we mark the behavior with a happy “Yesssss, potty!” Even if your puppy is already potty trained, why not keep up the praise!
5. Consider using a hands-free leash inside your home.
This was one of the best hacks for keeping our 3-month-old Goldendoodle safe in our home. By using a hands-free leash in the home, I could keep Sadie by my side so she couldn’t chew on on the couch leg, which can happen in a split second. Plus, I could carry some treats along with me and reward good behaviors.
6. Talk with your vet about ways to introduce your puppy to new experiences, socialization.
Three months is prime time for new puppy socialization. However, the conundrum comes in because the last round of vaccines don’t happen until around 16 weeks. So what can you do with your not-yet-fully-vaccinated puppy, and still keep them safe from scary diseases like parvovirus? I recommend talking with your veterinarian about what places you can and can’t take your not-fully-vaccinated puppy.
For our family, we got creative and carried our puppy on our walks, took her for car rides, gave her plenty of interactive toys and games, introduced her to grooming tools, let her play in our backyard, etc.
Additionally, because we have other vaccinated dogs in our family, she got dog-specific socialization with our fully vaccinated dogs. However, we did not take her to puppy parks, dog pet stores, allow her to walk on grass in highly dog populated places, or let her meet other dogs that we did not know whether or not they were vaccinated.
Also, I was interested to learn the official definition of socialization, so I went to a respected veterinary resource.
Veterinary Partner Network explains socialization in an in-depth article as follows:
Socialization: “Getting your puppy or kitten used to people, other animals, and experiences that they will encounter in their adult lives. More than just conforming to dog or cat norms, it’s learning to accept everything around them, such as people, car rides, grooming, vacuum cleaners, noises, other animals, and other household pets.”
Hopefully, this definition gives you some ideas for puppy socialization. For more, their article is excellent.
Again, if you’re trying to help your not-yet-fully-vaccinated puppy enjoy new experiences that are safe, this is a great conversation to have with your veterinarian who best knows you, your puppy, and even the area where you live.
7. Have fun learning basic commands with your pupper.
Goldendoodle puppies are smart! This is why it is so fun to start teaching them basic commands like come, sit, stay, and shake. It’s just plain fun and is a great way to bond with your puppy. One of the first games we played with our Goldendoodle was our version of the game Red Rover.
To play, one person is at one end of the rug or room and the other person is at the other. The first person says, “Come!” and the puppy’s name in a happy excited voice. When the puppy comes, the first person praises and rewards. Then, the second person repeats the same action. When the puppy comes to that person, there’s more happy praise and rewards. This is a great game for bonding and giving your puppy a little energy burn too.
8. Introduce grooming basics, and enjoy this stage where hair is still easy to manage.
If you researched Goldendoodles, you have probably read a lot about the importance of Goldendoodle grooming. Thankfully, at three months, the hair is still that wispy, puppy hair that’s easy to care for. This means you have some time to start slowly introducing hair care routines. At three months, we were combing our puppy’s hair and handling the paws while giving lots of positive praise and love.
9. Check the length of your puppy’s nails.
We gave Sadie her first nail trim at three months. If you’re unfamiliar with how to trim your puppy’s nails, your veterinarian can do this at a puppy well visit. Or, you can learn to trim your puppy’s nails yourself.
I use Millers Forge dog nail trimmers and have for 5 years now. For a complete review of Millers Forge dog nail clippers check out my article: Best Dog Nail Clippers for Goldendoodles.
10. Remember, things take time. And that’s ok.
Did you know that puppies sleep about 18 hours a day? It’s true! This could make you think this puppy parenting thing is a breeze. But then there are those other six hours which are pretty much nonstop investigating, zooming, sniffing, chewing, and discovering for our curious Energizer bunny puppies.
This is when new puppy overwhelm can set it in. At the beginning of puppy parenting, new parents are usually well-rested and ready to go! But then the bleary-eyed mornings and middle-of-the-night potty outings set in. The realization hits: “Raising a puppy is a lot of work!”
Let me reassure and encourage you, it’s totally worth it!
What makes this stage of puppyhood more challenging? For our family, at three months we were putting the big three routines in place time—crate training, potty training, and sleeping through the night. Then after that, the schedule starts to flow.
3 months and the adventure is “Golden”
Finally, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to discover what it’s like to parent a three-month-old Goldendoodle. These smart, inquisitive, and friendly puppies are so eager to please. With your love, praise, time, and attention, Goldendoodles will want to please you and will quickly learn how to fit in with your pack.
Do you want to look ahead at a 4-month-old Goldendoodle?
Check out our post: The 4-Month-Old Goldendoodle: Your Complete Guide.
We’re glad you stopped by HappyGoDoodle® —our cozy online home for all things Goldendoodle. Most of all, our entire pack hopes this is just the beginning of a lifetime of “Golden” moments for you and your new puppy.