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Hi all!

So, I'm due to get my standard puppy in May! (hoping that state border shut-downs won't effect my ability to get my puppy by then... in Australia and puppy is 2 states away)

Because I need to go in-store to choose toys/equipment, and I'm not sure how soon pet stores might be closed down (I react to a lot of materials and need to test everything to make sure I'm not allergic to it), I'm hoping to go out in the next few days to get things.

I'm looking for a list of absolute must-haves for at least the first few months of the puppy's life with me. The puppy will be between 8-10 weeks when he/she arrives, and I'll be getting either an apricot/red from a litter of 7 or a black from a litter of 5, depending which the breeder thinks will suit me best :) The apricot/red litter is 3 weeks old now and the blacks were born a few days ago!

How many toys would you say are necessary? I'm thinking a kong for freezing, some other type of kong chew toy, one or two soft toys? A ball?

Then I might need to get grooming equipment right from the get-go as I'm unsure if groomers will be allowed to operate, either... (puppy will already be used to grooming as they get their first nail clip at 1 week old, breeder is really good at introducing to everything--baths, clips, grooming tables, dryers etc. before they leave her).

I'll be getting a slicker. My groomer has let me know what blades to use.

Of course I'll be getting a crate, pen, feeding bowls, food, collar, leash...

How many/what kinds of treats?

The one item I already have is a clicker. Lol. Bought it earlier on when I saw it as from my experience they seem to be harder to find here in Australia than the USA.

Thanks! :)

I'm unsure now about puppy school because of COVID-19 :(
 

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You can never have too many toys. I have two boxes (the kind that reams of printer paper come in) overflowing with toys I got for Snarky and Pogo. My new spoo pup has played with almost all of them. He enjoys exploring different textures and weights. His favorites so far include a golf ball (which I must keep away from Pogo, because Pogo is big enough to swallow it), a hand-sized duck with crinkly material inside, a plush turkey with a removable rubber wishbone, and a plush snake (which works as a tug toy.) Last night I threw down a worn out T-shirt, and he happily started playing with it.

When I got Pogo I tried using dried liver for treats. It was far too rich for him, and he got the runs. Galen seems to have more robust plumbing, but I'm still being careful not to overdo the treats.
 

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So very exciting for you! And what a nice distraction during these strange, stressful days.

For treats: I would limit these to single ingredients as you get to know your puppy's digestive system and monitor for any potential allergies (which can manifest not only with GI symptoms, but also itching, etc.) I have freeze dried chicken for Peggy, which she adores. Frozen apple or banana chunks were also puppy favourites. I would stick them in a Kong.

For toys: As many as you can possibly get your hands on. Best way to cope with those needle teeth is to stick a toy in their mouth. Have some in every room, within easy grabbing distance.

My other must-haves, as you mentioned, are a crate and a pen. I could get by with little else. We have Peggy's crate attached to her pen, so she has always been able to go inside her crate any time she likes.

And have you chosen a puppy book/method to follow? I read Ian Dunbar's Before And After Getting Your Puppy with every new dog. Now would be the perfect time, as it will dictate much of your shopping list.

I cannot wait to see pictures of the puppy your breeder chooses for you!! So exciting knowing YOUR DOG is already in the world and waiting for you. :)
 

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Puppy appropriate chews are a life (and finger) saver for us. Normie likes the Nylabones made for puppies. We have a few spares for when he has to have one and there are none to be found. We like the non-edible kinds best but we keep a few of the others on hand.

Do you need a jacket or raincoat? puppy pads? urine remover for the floors? harness or carrier for the car?
puppy pen to give you both some quiet time? lots and lots of paper towels! poop bags? a soft snuggle toy?

Good luck and post pictures when you can.
 

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How exciting! You seem to have a handle on things. For a puppy you may find that simply having a bravura with 5 in1 blade and a set of the metal combs will be plenty fine for grooming. And it's good to have bravura for face and feet even after you want something better for the body. Let's see... a nail clipper (love millers forge brand) and I'd get ear powder (if you want to pluck) and zymox + hydrocortisone for the ears.

For leashes, I highly recommend a thin leather leash. Leather gets tangled less and has some give to it so it won't jerk so bad if the puppy lunges forward.

For treats, you don't even necessarily need dog treats. A lot of professional trainers just use cheese or chicken or deli turkey. If you are feeding kibble, you can use half their daily ration of kibble for low value training treats.

For chews, I prefer the edible kind. Bully sticks and cow ears are my go tos.

I would get a good variety of toys because you don't know what your pup will prefer. Mine loves really squeaky toys, especially long ones that can double as a tug.
 

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A brush. Even though a puppy is pretty easy to keep brushed, you want her to accept grooming as a normal part of poodle life.
 

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A list I keep handy below. Much of this has been mentioned in the posts preceding :).

New Pup/Dog startup

Crates, Carriers, Exercise Pens, Beds/Bedding, Travel
Harnesses, Collars, Leashes
Food, Water, Bowls
Enzyme Cleaner, Pee pads, Poo bags, Paper Towels
Toys
Grooming
Health, Vet, Vaccinations Vs Socialization, Insurance, Care Credit, Emergency funds
Puppy proofing inside and out, including kitties


This is really more your basic startup info. It's taken from other threads and posts that many active members of PF has contributed to. I hope more Pfer's will add to this, comment or correct any mistakes.

Crates, Carriers, Exercise Pens, Beds/Bedding, Travel

Crates

Hard side/wire is best for early days. Look for one with a divider in the size you expect them to grow into and use the divider to keep them comfortably cozy (stand up, turn around, sleep) til then. Use a blanket as a crate cover. Use a washable bath rug/towels or sherpa crate mat for bedding. Put something leak proof on the floor of the crate or under it. Depending on the layout of the house/apt, consider 2 crates, one for the sleeping space, one for the living space.
If you can manage it, have the pup sleep in your bedroom. They just think they're on an adventure until bedtime, especially the first night, rolls around. Suddenly they realize that NOTHING is familiar, no scent, warmth or comfort of mom or siblings. They are Alone. Ask the breeder to do this or bring a towel or blanket to get mom and siblings scent on it, to comfort them. Keeping them in the same room allows you to hear if they are unwell or need to go out. Expect to have the young ones out several times during the night for a while. Set a periodic alarm to beat them to it.
Don't count on a lot of sleep the first days or weeks. Taking a few days off from work or work from home, if you can, will really help set routines and gives some time to get to know each other. Find out if the breeder had them on a daily routine and try to follow that for a few days. They're facing so many instant and incomprehensible changes. Keep what you can the same for a while.

Ex Pen
This expands their relaxation space but keeps them contained and out of mischief. Food and water bowls as well as pee pads can be in that space. Use a leak proof flooring here also.
These can be plastic or wire or even pop up soft side.

Beds and bedding
This may depend on the pups age and what they're used to. A young pup probably doesn't need one just yet. An older pup or dog may already be using one.

Carrier
These are generally only good up to about 15lbs but have their place. A smaller crate with handles can double as a carrier.

Travel
Keeping your pup comfortable and safe in the car is important. Depending on size and age, you might use a carrier, a crate, or a harness with seat belts.
Sleepypod brand is a highest safety rated product. Testing was done by the independent Center for Pet Safety, with some testing sponsored by Subaru.

Harnesses, Collars and Leashes
Harnesses are usually a better safety choice for smaller pups due to potential trachea injury from collars, but it may not be the best choice for a pup who wants to pull.
Collars will carry tags and ID but don't have to be worn inside the home.

Food, Water, Bowls
It's best to keep them on the same food as the breeder had for a while. They're already under stress from the abrupt change in their lives and this is one thing that doesn't usually need to change immediately. They may go off their feed as it is, so keep an eye on that. Toys are especially subject to hypoglycemia. This can very quickly become fatal. Look for the sticky on it. If/when you want to change foods, a good go to is Dog Food Advisor.
Stainless steel or ceramic is best for their food and water bowls. You might even consider filling a bottle with the water they've been drinking and mix it with their new home water.

Enzyme Cleaner, Pee pads, Poo bags, Paper Towels, Bitter Apple Spray
Pretty much all self explanatory. Natures Miracle is usually recommended for enzyme cleaner. Bitter Apple Spray is to keep them from mouthing and biting on what you don't want them to.

Toys
Have just a few on hand til you find the kinds the pup likes. Chewing toys like Nylabone for puppies are good. They also work as trade to get your fingers back
Puzzle toys are good, and Kongs to hide kibble and treats are helpful.
Not exactly a toy, but something to consider is the Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy toy. This can help soothe a pup.

Grooming
I hope others will have specific suggestions for combs, brushes, shampoos…
It is important to get them used to the grooming process asap. The longer you wait, the harder it is on the pup and whoever's doing the grooming.
It does not hurt their coat to get a puppy trimmed

Health, Vet, Vaccinations Vs Socialization, Insurance, Care Credit, Emergency funds
Ask if any other dog on the premises has been ill in the last week or so. Choose a vet if you don't have one and know where the ER clinic is. Have the pup checked out by a vet within a day or two of homecoming whether the breeder requires it or not. Puppies can socialize with vaccinated adult dogs, and probably known puppies who aren't fully vaccinated yet. Best to stay away from paws on the ground at places a lot of dogs might be til yours is fully vaccinated. People are not usually any risk or at risk.
Consider pet insurance, at least for the first year or two, or sign up for Care Credit if there is a health emergency. If you can, a healthy four figure separate savings account dedicated to emergencies can be a life saver, literally.
Keep a first aid kit and learn some first aid procedures.

Puppy proofing inside and out, including kitties
Check your fencing if there is any. You want to keep things out as well as puppy in. Check your plant life for possible toxic plants.
Inside keep cords and cables covered or out of reach. Anything puppy level is at risk.

Besides pet stores, there is Amazon, Chewy.com, and eBay and Etsy for supplies. Other brick and mortar stores if they're nearby are Tuesday Morning, Marshall's, HomeGoods, Sierra Trading Post and TJ Maxx. The last two are also online.
__
 

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I've realized, in dealing with Galen, that a high quality x pen makes a huge difference.

When I got Pogo I bought a 30 inch high pen with vertical bars (no cross bars) and a door. It was actually designed for toddlers, not puppies. With both baby Pogo and baby Galen we wired it to the front of his crate to give him some more room to play without giving him total run of the room. The vertical bars are great, because he can't get any leverage to haul himself up and over. The door is great, because I can open it to let him out or to step inside the pen.

When I got Galen one of my coworkers lent me a 24 inch wire mesh pen with horizontal wires and no door. It's much less useful, and I certainly wouldn't trust the safety if I were to step out of the room. With no door, I have to step over the fence or lean down to pick him up to move him in or out. The horizontal mesh gives him a place to put his feet when he wants to try crawling over. At 3 months, he's already tall enough to put his paws on the top; I expect him to make his first attempt to go over, and get hung up, any day now.
 

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Great advice from cowpony!

Peggy's so smart. If we'd ever lifted her up and out of her pen, she'd have absolutely tried it herself.

Here's the one we use:


At 10 months, she's still content to lounge in there when she's having a hard time settling. This especially happens at night when she's over-tired. She'll start cycling through all her toys, unable to focus but still refusing to give up on the day's fun. In she goes and she's out like a light.
 

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Haha you guys make me feel like Misha must be built differently than your dogs. We have a 36" iris pen with vertical and horizontal bars. If Misha were a climber he would have no problem, but he has never shown any inclination to climb. He is miraculously nimble in a horizontal plane but not vertical. And I pick him up out of his pen all the time!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes! I will for sure be getting an x pen. Cowpony yours looks great! I’m looking for something similar here in Australia. My breeder also recommended one that looks good and solid from a local hardware store. Better than the ones at department stores I’ve seen so far!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The thing I’m most worried about now is that the borders to my state are closed, so I’m not sure on the possibility of my pup getting here in May as I’m not sure it would be considered “essential” travel. Normally the breeder travels with her pups that are going interstate. Anyway, am just waiting on it to see how it goes.
 

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A pricy option, but would likely be useful thru a full lifetime is this from Richell. It comes in 3 heights, 36" being the tallest. There is an accessory top and floor available, if needed.


Their website:

 
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Haha you guys make me feel like Misha must be built differently than your dogs. We have a 36" iris pen with vertical and horizontal bars. If Misha were a climber he would have no problem, but he has never shown any inclination to climb. He is miraculously nimble in a horizontal plane but not vertical. And I pick him up out of his pen all the time!
Ha! Yep. Peggy could most definitely get out! We just don't want her to know that. 😂

We have a similarly low fence around our backyard, so it's really funny when she loses something on the other side, like her frisbee or a precious rock. She'll just sadly paw at the ground or stare at it until someone takes pity and gets it for her. Meanwhile, we've got tiered landscaping, with levels taller than her head, and she hops up with no issue.

It's definitely more of a psychological thing.

When we retrieve her frisbee, for example, we always make a big show of opening the gate or reaching through the slats. We never reach over or under.

And the few times she's put a paw on her x-pen, a quick AH! put an end to that. We've taught her it's just not something you do.
 

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So very exciting for you! And what a nice distraction during these strange, stressful days.

For treats: I would limit these to single ingredients as you get to know your puppy's digestive system and monitor for any potential allergies (which can manifest not only with GI symptoms, but also itching, etc.) I have freeze dried chicken for Peggy, which she adores. Frozen apple or banana chunks were also puppy favourites. I would stick them in a Kong.

For toys: As many as you can possibly get your hands on. Best way to cope with those needle teeth is to stick a toy in their mouth. Have some in every room, within easy grabbing distance.

My other must-haves, as you mentioned, are a crate and a pen. I could get by with little else. We have Peggy's crate attached to her pen, so she has always been able to go inside her crate any time she likes.

And have you chosen a puppy book/method to follow? I read Ian Dunbar's Before And After Getting Your Puppy with every new dog. Now would be the perfect time, as it will dictate much of your shopping list.

I cannot wait to see pictures of the puppy your breeder chooses for you!! So exciting knowing YOUR DOG is already in the world and waiting for you. :)
Thank you for the book recommendation Peggy the Parti. I just ordered it!
 
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