NEW PUPPY SET-UP
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.
TRAINING will be a very important component in ensuring your pup has the good manners to carry himself through life with you. It is extremely important that you choose a QUALIFIED and CERTIFIED trainer. Training has changed significantly over the last decade to a kinder, gentler approach that causes no harm, punishing or abusive physical methods be used against an animal.
Please check out this link before embarking on your training with a trainer.
THINGS TO CONSIDER - 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 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)
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
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.
Confinement training exists of a pen (specifically for dogs) that can contain your puppy in one area when you're unable to attend to them. The pen ensures your puppy is safe and can't get into anything they shouldn't. It also means if they have an accident it will always be in the same spot and easy to clean up.
Here's a Confinement & Crate set-up example.
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 socialize 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.
As soon as you get your puppy you should take a trip to your Veterinarian. A first visit is necessary for your Vet to get a baseline health & wellness check as a reference. They'll set you up for your next official visit 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 and pokes and prods. We want to make the Vet's a Happy Place.