Helpful Planning Tips for your Puppy

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. Your male dog will eventually need one 30" high (or 33" if you want a bit more room),

your female dog 27" high (or 30 if you want to be nice).  Buy just one size (that your dog/puppy can grow into)

and block half of it off with a non-destructible material. You can purchase crate partitions.

3. A portable kennel may also be a consideration. These are larger play pens for dogs. Great for having the puppy

outside, while restricting it's freedom. You can set it up inside as well.

4. Stainless steel water and food bowls. (Stainless Steel bowls can not be chewed up or ingested)

5. Light, thin, nylon collar and leash (for young puppy). While you're at it, get a 6 foot long nylon or leather leash and a flat buckle or rolled leather collar for when your puppy is older.

6. Toys: pick up two or three Kongs, Nylabones, a Buster Cube, some tennis balls, etc. The key to buying toys is to make sure they are: durable, safe, washable 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 or clothes, etc.

7. FOOD: Select a high quality food such as Eagle, Solid Gold, Timberwolf, Tast of the Wild, Pro Plan, Flint River Ranch, Innova, Bleu, Evo, Canidae, etc.  Ensure you have the dog on LARGE BREED Puppy or all life stages food.  Make sure you gradually wean the dog/or puppy into the new food. This can prevent or reduce stomach or intestinal upset. Feed young puppies three times a day and older dogs twice a day. Stick to your guns, your dog will eat when he gets hungry enough. Don't let your new dog/puppy become a "picky" eater.

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

9. 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.

10. Discuss the "doggy rules" with all members of your family. Make sure everyone understands the rules before the "new one" arrives. Okay, you've gotten all the "stuff" needed to make your dog comfy and to help keep it 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 dog/puppy jumping on people; communicate that to all who encounter the dog, and instruct them to IGNORE the jumping and to only, but calmly, greet the critter when it is on the floor and calm. If you do not want the dog pulling and lunging on leash, DO NOT reinforce it by allowing it to pull. Reinforce when it is NOT pulling.

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