Preparing For Your Puppy

Preparing Your Home

Your puppy will almost definitely chew on things that you don't want it to. Find things in your house that could harm you puppy, such as sharp objects, choking hazards, things that are poisonous, etc, and find places to store them where your puppy won't be able to access them. Do the same with things that you don't want damaged, such as: shoes, cords, purses, wallets, clothes, etc., and practice putting them there when they are not in use.

The Basics

Puppies need a lot of things. Let's just start out with the basics:

Potty Training

Don't fool yourself. Your puppy WILL have accidents. Purchase a pet stain and odor remover, and your visitors won't have to know. We recommend Natures Miracle Advanced Stain & Odor. It works for fresh and set-in stains.

If you can take your puppy out about every hour, you can potty train it using a crate when you are not able to keep an eye on it. We recommend a wire crate with a removable divider, like the MidWest Life Stages Folding Metal Dog Crate. Set the divider so that there is enough room for the puppy to lie down and turn around, but not enough room for it to be able to potty and avoid sleeping in it. Adjust the divider's position as your puppy grows.

If you're not going to be able to take your puppy out about every hour, you will also need to purchase a x-pen, such as the MidWest Foldable Metal Exercise Pen / Pet Playpen, and set up a potty area in it. Keep your puppy's play area as clean as possible so that only the potty area smells like potty.

Potty training takes time. Keep an eye on your puppy, and if it starts to circle or sniff excessively, take it out to its potty area. When your puppy is learning, always take it out the same door if possible. This will help teach your puppy to go to that door when it needs to go potty. If you notice your puppy spending time next to that door, take it out.

Veterinarian

Pick out a good veterinarian. Ask your friends about their experiences with veterinarians in your area and don't be afraid to call veterinarian offices to ask questions while you are researching.

Grooming

Some puppies are easier to groom than others. Take your time to positively introduce your puppy to each new tool you use on it, and don't overwhelm it with too much grooming too quickly. You will need the following items for grooming (if you decide to use a groomer, you will still need everything below, other than the shears):

Training

If you want to have a happy home, you need to train your puppy. Not only can training provide you with an obedient, well-mannered dog, but it can also build your bond with each other. This is an incredibly intelligent breed, and your puppy will find something to do to keep its mind busy if you don't provide it with mental exercise. You probably won't approve of the activity your puppy comes up with to occupy its time when it is left to choose for itself. We recommend positive reinforcement clicker training for obedience and trick training. Keep training sessions short, and always end on a positive note. Don't let yourself become so serious about training that your dog doesn't have fun.

These tools will help you have fun and successful training sessions:

Toys

Your puppy will need toys to play with. There are so many different toys that we recommend, and our dogs love, that the list below is of brands we love, and our favorite toys are noted. (Toys should be periodically checked for cracks, tears, broken parts, etc., and common sense with supervision is a must.)

Hot/Cold Weather

Your puppy will want to go on adventures year-round, and it will sometimes need products to help it do so safely. The following products can help out in extreme weather conditions. Remember to check the temperature of the surface your puppy has to walk on, especially in the summer. Press the back of your hand to the ground for several seconds to see if it's uncomfortable to you, it will probably be uncomfortable for your puppy.

Outdoor and Fitness

Obesity is a real problem with dogs, but puppies shouldn't be worked too hard until their growth plates have closed. Exercising a puppy too much before then can cause joint problems, so make sure your puppy can stop exercising when it is tired.

Food

An entire page about dog food is coming soon. Until then, please read Whole Dog Journal's article about what to look for in a dog food. We love it because it is not biased toward any specific brand. We have personally had good experiences with Farmina N&D, Fromm, Hi-Tek, Orijen, Acana, Stella & Chewy's, Sojo's, and The Honest Kitchen.