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New Puppy Checklist

Puppies are at their most impressionable during early puppy hood. It is at this time that the many good and bad habits are formed. Preventing bad habits (e.g. chewing, barking, marking, biting, jumping up, lead pulling) at an early stage is much easier than rehabilitation after a bad behaviour is formed.

It is therefore essential to get off on the right foot, right from the beginning. So what does this mean ?. Well, it means building your education and understanding in the many aspects of dog ownership, before you get your puppy or dog.

Over the coming months, we hope to build up a selection of articles about preparing for a new puppy. In the meantime, Dr. Ian Dunbar’s book Before You Get Your Puppy is recommended reading for those new or lack recent experience in puppy selection and the early days of ownership.

As well as building knowledge, the vast number of products available for dogs generally bewilders newcomers. Many of these lack the appropriate advice dog owners need to determine how, when and where they should be used. Unfortunately, The New Puppy Checklist below does not resolve that dilemma, but it does list those items that, in our opinion, are must have’s and need to in place before your new puppy arrives at your house.

1. Dog Crate: The benefits of crate training are such that a dog crate comes at the top of the new puppy shopping list. Our article Crates and Crate Training looks at these benefits in more detail.
2. Dog Chew Toys
(lots of them):
The destructive capability of dog chewing can leave unwitting owners completely dismayed. It is essential to focus chewing in the right direction right from the very start. Dog chew toys that can be stuffed with food are always a good choice . The Kong Toy is without doubt the market leader here and our article How to Use The Kong Toy gives useful advice on using Kongs and stuffing recipes. Additionally, there are also specialist puppy chews such as the Nylabones. These are flavoured and have different levels of hardness to suite puppies of different ages. Steer clear of rawhide and pigs ears at this stage.
4. Dog Toilet Housetraining can certainly take the shine off the early days of puppy ownership, so it is essential to have a strategy for this from day one. The article House Training – The Modern Way gives an up to date insight into this and is well worth a read. However, key things to have at hand are:

  • Home made or purchased house training pads
  • Non-ammonia disinfectant such as Formula H Disinfectant.
5. Water Bowl Lets face it, this can be an anything from an old dish to designer or automatic dog bowls
6. Dog Food (kibble) During the first few weeks, feed all of your puppies meals using the stuffed Kongs. Also feed a small amount by hand as rewards for training and socialisation. We recommend Nature Diet primarily because it is one of the few completely natural dog foods, and to be quite frank, it looks more appetising.
7. Dog Treats Have plenty of treats on hand to be given by men, children, postman or any strangers to help build confidence. Also use as rewards.
8. Head Collar & Lead These will become essential when you start taking your puppy outside, so don’t wait too long before acclimatising them to wearing a head collar or a collar.