As some of you guys may or may not know we are planning on adding a puppy to our family this year! I am very excited and have been preparing for sometime now so that when we find the right puppy we will be fully prepared for bringing it home. When we re-homed Bonnie we had so much to do and so much to buy in such a short time that it was quite stressful so we want to do things a little bit differently this time!
As you all know I love dog behaviour and training so I have been “swotting up” on puppy raising. I’ve been reading Leslie McDevitt’s Control Unleashed : The Puppy Program and so far I love it, it’s so informative and really makes you think about your interactions with your dog. Although I’ve gleaned loads from it already I still have the majority of it left to read – it’s difficult to read a lot in one sitting as it’s so much information to take in at once and it really makes you stop and think, it will definitely be one I keep going back to and refer to! On Youtube I have also been revisiting videos from Kikopup, Zak George and Pam’s Dog Academy.
Regarding training and socialisation we intend to take the puppy to puppy classes and we are very lucky to know several excellent trainers in the nearby area so we have our pick of the best! We will also do our own training and socialisation ourselves so the puppy gets used to different people, animals, environments, sounds, surfaces, handling and so on. We will most likely keep track of our socialisation efforts to ensure we are doing all we can to help the puppy be a confident and outgoing dog. Here are 2 checklists that cover in great detail what type of socialisation can be done – Sophia Yin’s checklist, K9 Fun Club’s checklist (hands up who else has an unhealthy obsession with To Do lists / checklists? :D)
We have already set up the puppy’s crate and play pen as well as a baby gate between the living room and the kitchen. This allowed Bonnie to get used to those items and that she can’t invade the puppy’s safe space of the play pen.
What is this thing? It’s in my way!
We still have to add a blanket to cover the crate and extra bedding and blankets to make it super cosy. As the puppy grows we can expand the pen with 2 extra panels and then it will graduate to free roaming in the kitchen where we will use the pen panels to protect the kitchen cabinets and back door. The ideal goal is for the 2 dogs to eventually have full run of the ground floor while we are out but we will take the introductions slowly as we do not want any fighting over toys, food, beds etc.
I have been scouring online and local shops to find the best deals for all the puppy toys I have bought. This is by no means a list of necessary products and some people may think this is excessive whereas others may think it’s no where near enough for a teething puppy that will destroy things but this is what we have got so far. We will adjust expectations once the pup comes home and we learn more about their toy preferences and chewing habits. I wanted to buy a few different varieties as Bonnie came to us not really knowing how to play with toys so I don’t want the puppy to miss out on that experience while young.
I think we are well covered but we will probably buy some more puppy safe chews for teaching the pup to be happy on its own. Does anyone have any good puppy chew recommendations?
As well as toys we have a few accessories bought in but we still need a collar, harness and tags for the collar.
And finally we have decided to go with Orijen puppy food as although we feed Bonnie a raw diet it is more convenient for us to use this while the puppy is growing. It will make it easier to divide their meals for training purposes and also when we are at the office and a family member or dog walker visits the pup it will be easier for them to feed kibble than raw. The pup will still get introduced to raw bones and treats and then transitioned to raw when it is older.
No doubt I’m missing something critical but that’s our preparations for now! Do you have any must have puppy products, something you couldn’t live without in that needle teeth stage? Or any general puppy tips? I’d love to hear all your experiences raising puppies!