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CONGRATULATIONS!  If you've just added a new puppy to your family then you've come to the right page. You may be feeling a little overwhelmed what with all the things you need to consider now that you've brought your little bundle of joy home from the breeder.  


Don't panic, here's where we come in to help you get you and your puppy sorted out with what you need so you can sit back and begin to enjoy each other.


There is an abundance of information as well as "stuff" to buy for puppies but hold on, don't part with your money just yet.  You only need a few basics for your new puppy.  No need to break the bank and part ways with your dollars just yet.  



Puppy Gear

When we talk of puppy gear, we're talking about:

A collar (flat buckle, a way to attach i.d. tags)

A 6 ft. leash (leather or nylon)

Front Attachment Harness (to help decrease pulling)

Brush (suitable for your breed)

2 Bowls (Stainless steel - water & food)

Crate & containment pen (plastic sided crate)

Baby gates (to block off no-go areas for now)

Bedding (old towels work well in the beginning stage - easily washed)

Chew appropriate dog items (Kongs, Nyla Bones, Bully sticks)

Here's an example of a PUPPY Shopping List


Potty Training

You will need to teach your puppy where to go potty.  You can even train your puppy to go in one spot in your yard if you like.  You'll need to learn your puppy's schedule, so it is recommended you take your puppy out regularly. Generally, a good starting point is once every hour. You may find you need a shorter period or that your puppy can hold it a little longer, but once an hour is a good place to start.  Take your puppy out to their spot immediately when they wake, after they've had food and if they've been playing a bit. When you can't keep your eyes on your puppy they should go into their pen so if an accident happens, it only happens in one spot. Here's a Potty Schedule to get you started. Post it for everyone in the house to see. 


Confinement & Crate Training

Many breeders are now beginning the crate training process with their puppies before they go to their new homes. Crates are a nice safe place for your puppy to sleep at night and a great tool when it comes to Potty Training.  Your crate should be just large enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around and adjust their position.  We generally recommend 2 crates; one for the home, one for the car for safe travel.  

Remember your puppy is experiencing a lot of changes so to lessen the trauma of being taken away from their family, be sure to locate their confinement area in a family room area so they have lots of social contact.  Don't isolate them in the basement or in a room all by themselves. Dog are social animals and want to be included. Inclusion and having lots of family time helps to decrease & even eliminate excess biting, separation distress, and excess destructive energy.

Confinement training exists of a pen (specifically for dogs) that can contain your puppy in one area when you're unable to attend to or keep eyes on.  The pen ensures your puppy is safe and can't get into anything they shouldn't.  It also means if they have a potty accident it will always be in the same spot and easy to clean up.  Here's a Confinement & Crate set-up example.

Puppy Classes

Training is very important, not only does it teach your puppy how to live in their new human world, it is an excellent way to introduce your puppy to new experiences and teach them about this new world in a safe and structured manner.  Check here for the schedule of HEADStart Puppy Classes.


Veterinary Care

As soon as you get your puppy you should take a trip to your Veterinarian. A first visit is necessary for your Vet to obtain a baseline health & wellness check as a reference.  They'll set you up for your next official visit later but in the meantime drop in on a regular basis to weigh your puppy and get them familiar with the location and people. We don't want the only time they visit the Vet to be filled with needles, pokes and prods.  We want to make the Vets office a Happy Place. 



Starting Puppy Class

My puppy has their first set of shots can they start class?  Yes!

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