Before your new puppy or dog arrives, take some time to again ponder the responsibility and ask yourself one more time, "Am I ready?" If you are not and cannot devote the time necessary to guiding and training, please, for the sake of the dog, your sanity and your family, don't get one.  If you have an established dog already, you'll need to be extra diligent in making sure that your existing dog will accept a new "pack member".  Plan ahead and set the puppy up for success!

Things to Do PRIOR to
Puppy Coming Home:

1. Dog/Puppy proof the area: Walk about the house and yard and pick up the things you DO NOT want your puppy to get a hold of, or that can harm him.  If you do not want your puppy in certain parts of the house or yard, buy baby gates for inside and put up a kennel in the yard. Remember: it is YOUR responsibility to keep the dog or puppy out of things you don't want messed with or destroyed!

2. Purchase a Crate.  Size will depend on the type of dog you have.  Buy just one size (that your puppy can grow into) and block half of it off with a non-destructible material.

3. A puppy playpen may also be a consideration.  Great for having the puppy outside, while restricting it's freedom.  You can set it up inside as well.

4. Baby gates: good for confining when crating isn't required.  Make sure dog can't get head/paws caught in gate, can't chew threw the gate, can't knock the gate down, and can't jump the gate!

5. Pet-specific cleaners: such as Nature's Miracle, remove pet stains and odors from rugs and other surfaces.

6. Water and food bowls: use tip proof, stainless steel.  Stay away from plastic, which can smell and absorb bacteria.  And some dogs will eat their bowls!

7.  Toys: pick up a Kong, edible Nylabones, a Buster Cube, some tennis balls, etc.   (Check out Premier to place an order for these items at a reduced price.  But, call us to get them at a discounted price.)  The key to buying toys is to make sure they are: durable, safe and FUN.  You'll need to teach your dog/puppy that it's toys are THE BEST things to chew on, not the sofa, TV remote, your hands, clothes, etc.

8. Food: "Saving" on your food bill may increase your veterinary bill.  Premium foods use higher quality ingredients and have fewer by-products and preservatives that can trigger food allergies.  With cheap brands, dogs tend to consume more because they are starved for nutrients.  Select a high quality food such as Nutro Natural Choice or Authority.  If you change to a different food than what is currently being fed, (and you should if it is not a high quality food), make sure you gradually wean the puppy into the new food.  This will reduce stomach or intestinal upset.  Feed young puppies two or three times a day and older dogs twice a day.  Also, keep in mind that the first few days your new dog may not be interested in eating.  Still, put the food bowl where you wish him to eat and leave it there for 20 minutes.  After that, remove the bowl.  Do not offer food again until the next scheduled feeding time.  This teaches your dog when and where mealtime occurs.

9. Treats: You will need something extra yummy.  Some of the favorites are Pet Botanics Rolled Dog Food, Canine Carry Outs (various flavors) or Bil-Jac Gooberlicious.  You should get something soft that smells yummy for training treats.  The dog is more inclined to work for something they think is GREAT!!!

10. Light, thin, nylon collar and 6' leash.   You want to avoid retractables.  These teach the dog that it is acceptable to be 20 feet in front of you.

11. Bedding.  This is up to you.  An old blanket or towel work well.  Just keep in mind that many bedding products end up in shreds.

12. Grooming supplies: Flea comb - to check for fleas, and combing is healthy for skin.  However, if you purchase a good quality flea preventative, such as Advantage or Frontline, you will not need the flea comb.  These products can be purchased from your veterinarian or from Entirely Pets.  You will also need a brush.  Talk to our trainer or a groomer for the right type of brush for your dog.  You may also want to purchase a comb, nail clippers and KwikStop (in case you hit the quik), and a toothbrush and toothpaste.

13. Set up an appointment for your new companion with a Veterinarian.  If you do not already have one in mind, visit and interview a few in your area. 

Okay, you've gotten all the "stuff" needed to make your dog comfy and to help keep him entertained.  You need to now discuss with others in your home, what the rules and boundaries will be for the new family member.  Have a clear idea of which behaviors you will reinforce and which ones will not be reinforced.  For example, if you do not want your puppy jumping on people; communicate that to all who encounter the dog.  If you do not want the dog pulling and lunging on leash, DO NOT reinforce it by allowing it to pull.  Then, if you need help or just want the opportunity to help your furry and non-furry family to better understand the rules, enroll in a Training Class.

Now that we are ready to bring puppy home, let's talk about the things that you will need to take with you when you go to get your new family member.  You will need: a collar, leather or nylon is best; a leash, one with a strong clasp and comfortable on your hands, such as thick leather or double-ply woven; a crate/carrier to contain the puppy and any "accidents."

By planning ahead, you can set your puppy up for success and ensure a wonderful relationship for years to come.

Now we can talk about what to do once puppy gets home.  Click on the link below to find out what to do next.

 Back to Training Tips        To Bringing Puppy Home

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