Puppy Checklist :: Things to have in place prior to bring your puppy home
The time has come and your now able to bring your new kid home. I have prepared a list of items you should have ready when bringing home your
new German Shepherd Puppy. First if you haven't read my Puppy 101 please go through and read and or re read to freshen up on the info
Crate's With dividers if possible.
Bowls Stainless steel dishes if possible
Leash 6ft lead
Toys: kong toys, Tug toys & Chews
Costco Puppy Food
Stain and Scent remover
Treats (Hot Dogs is what they will have had here.)
Old blankets and towels
Pick a Vet before you need one
Crates are essential in the comfort and training of your GSD, you should have a couple. The main crate should be the biggest possible.
If you can purchase the ones that have dividers so you can portion the room of the crate. The portion part comes in handy as the
puppy will usually hold their potty if its right in their sleeping area. I like the wire crates and recommend them as they are very easy to
clean and break down flat for storage and or travel. The second is a travel crate which you will need to pick up your puppy and to travel
to and from socialization. This crate will have to fit in the car, truck or van and should have both the dogs size and fit ability into
your vehicle with the puppy at 16-30 weeks taken into consideration. Remember no nose to nose or general contact with unknown dogs till 16
weeks. If you are raising your dog outside then an outdoor shelter a dog house, igloo etc should be ready to go once there ready to begin outdoor life.
Stainless steel bowls are the easiest to clean and last the longest. They are the recommended bowl and in most cases they will out live you
and I. Best to get the biggest one you can find for an outside water bowl and two additional for indoor water and food. I use a water bowl
with the upside down plastic water bottle type so they always have lots of fresh water without me having to always fill it. These are
great for after potty training but not so great during, as they can be ackward to pick up and secure when you reach the cut off time for water,
around bed time (An hour and half before ish).
Collars and leashes for transportation, exercise and training. The dollar stores are great for these as they wont last long. The nylon adjustable are
fine for the first few months for the collars. Start with an adjustable one at 14 and above. Good idea to have a generic pet ID tag
ready to go as well. Your name and emergency info will suffice if you have not picked your name out yet. Your leash should be 6 foot and
decent quality as these guys are strong. I also like to have a long leash as well its great for training like recall and giving a lot of room
to roam while being secure.
Toys the more the merrier. Toys for inside, toys for out. Chews, tugs, ropes, balls, kongs. Great for redirecting bad behavior like chewing
your shoes or worse yet, your wife's new pumps. When I see the puppy getting into something they shouldn't be I will get their attention
with that command, here its "at tat tat" in a deep strong voice, your puppy will know this right from get go coming from here. They should
look up and get eye contact with you. Then I will grab a toy and redirect the puppy to the toy instead of what ever they might be
starting to chew. Remember during the first 72 just pick the puppy up and remove them from what ever they might have been doing. No corrections even minor during the first 72 hours. WaSh EvErYtHiNg that puppies chew on at least twice, toys.. best 4 times. WARNING! Watch for choke dangers like things that come off toys and size like small balls and such that can get lodged. Best to be safe with a size up.
Baby gates are worth every penny 10 fold. If you have rooms and or areas that are off limits a 10-20 dollar baby gate at Walmart is
needed. They are also great for keeping an eye on you new kid without having to crate them. Or containing them to a room with you or by
themselves if you need to.
One bag of yellow puppy food from Costco. Until their 4-5 months old feed puppy food. I use the costco brand that's what they will be use to
leaving here. This bag will help you transition to whatever brand you want without to much if any changes to the puppies digestive system.
If you have a specific brand already in mind and have it, be sure to get a zip lock of current food when picking up puppy.
Blankets & bedding should be washed before using as well, even new. Get all the chemicals and dyes out in the wash not in your puppies
mouth! I don't use a bed in the kennel because of accidents. I will use towels and old blankets cut into double the size of the kennel,
easier to wash and you usually can get a couple out of a regular blanket. These kids are big so if your getting a dog bed go big right
Brushes are a necessity for the indoor pet. They are also useful in helping your puppy get ready for the groomer at some point. Groomer? Yes its nice to have a shower and shave and what I really enjoy is the expression of the anal glands, done….. by someone else. WoRtH EvErY PeNnY. Look it up and or ask if your not sure what the heck I'm talking about. You will thank me later and so will your cloths.
Stain and scent remover on hand for accidents that most likely will occur while training the outdoor potty. I don't buy 20 dollar scent
stuff, I use a couple shots of windex on a paper towel after I have cleaned it all up including any stain, blotting it and stepping on the
spot with paper towel. If you get a loose stool on carpet don't use the squeesh grab and rub technique for pick up, it rubs loose stool into
the fiber instead of leaving it on the top of the carpet. If its loose grab and squeeze just above the carpet and try to lift the whole mess
into a waiting plastic shopping bag. If its massive grab the top and come back for seconds with a clean towel. Wet Poo loves company! You
can use it like a glue to pick up the bottom layer left over from your first or second grab, blot the bottom poo with a pre poo'ed paper
towel don't smash and it will usually lift the remaing poo right up with very little else left to clean up. I know, I know…. I know way to
much about poo.
Clickers can be a great tool for training. Get them if you like them. I have never been fond of them as they always seem to get lost when I
tried and used them. My voice is always with me and free. Use your voice as the clicker instead. Mark all good behavior with a nice Yes
or a good in your best flowery voice. Best to redirect with the at tat tat, before the start of any bad behavior. At tat tat training will be begun with your puppy before leaving. Will go over this in person with you when you pick them up.
If you don't have a doggy door get a bell. Its really easy to teach most dogs how to use a bell to let you know they would like to go
outside. I'm not going to go into that but lots of info on the web with lots of video how to's. Once again here I prefer to teach with
something the dog already carries, a bark. Neither are real practical immediately but get started on these right away for the best
experience, right after the first 72 hours. The bell is also useful if you have sleepers in the house as it is quieter then a bark.
Treats are great training tools! I don't spend a lot of money on the foo foo treats for two reasons. One most of all that stuff comes from China
and is not well regulated. Many, many case's of all kinds of nonsense like saw dust and dry wall materials added as fillers not to mention the
poisons that often slip into our dog foods from this country on a regular basis. Second Walmart hot dogs taste great! At a dollar a
package they go along way. I'm sure today's hot dog is not a hot dog of yesteryear, not even sure if there's any meat in them their critters
anymore. But Walmart is close and big if they screw something up, I don't have to go to China to hold them accountable, additionally hotdog's are
a favorite in some families quick foods for kids, I believe they might be a bit more cautious because of this.
Pick a Vet before you need one. You dont want to play eeny meeny miny mo with vets and doctors. The most advertised Vet needs alot of money to pay for those ad's. This can result in unneccesary charges and test's etc. A busy vet who does not advertise much is usally the best option. Ask friends, family members, trainers etc for help on this.
Patience…. Most importantly…. You and them are going to make mistakes. Sometimes just like with kids, you may need buckets of this. Once in a
while a kid just turns out out to be problem free completely charmed from birth, others not so much, but most fall into the middle category. I have seen some hot heads ruin dogs from screaming and or yelling at them often. Firm and patient for the best results. A firm NO followed with a bit of (if necessary) "why would you do that" goes along way. Watch the ears go down the head drop and eyes go up and down between you and the ground, that dog knows he did something wrong. In most cases this is all that is necessary to correct bad behavior if you get after it while they are young. If I say 'who did it' or 'why would you do that' in my pack you will see 7 dogs heading in 7 different directions in a sulking walk, with one of them really moving fast (usually the guilty party).
That's the basics. Hope this helps get everyone to a great experience.
If you are having a problem or even think you are having a problem, please contact me right away. As you learned when we first spoke, I love talking about my kids, that's includes the grand kids!! There is no such thing as a stupid question, not sure about something, call me, if I don't know, I'll find someone who does. I will update this with new thoughts as they come.