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Hello, I am very excited that I will bringing home my spoo puppy in a few weeks time (Sept. 5 is spoo day). I would love to hear from other members what items (including brands) that you would recommend to have on hand. We already have a crate and I am planning to get a pen to put around the crate for when I can't watch the puppy closely. I don't plan to get a dog bed right away but instead will use towels inside the crate for easier washing. I am working at home right now because of Covid so that is a plus for puppy training. Our last (and only other puppy) was 17 years ago, so it's been quite a while. I plan to get kongs because I remember that was quite a favorite of our other poodle and also some dried liver treats because I remember those being very effective for training. I'd love to have thoughts about favorite toys that you would recommend, also other treats that have been popular with your dogs, and any recommendations on other misc. products. We also have pee pads but I hope not to use those since I will be able to take puppy out frequently. There are so many products out there! We never used a harness with our mini poo but perhaps it's a good idea for spoo? Thanks for any thoughts and advice you have. I read about "no-spill" bowls, too, and am wondering if that's a good purchase. We didn't use them with our other dog but he was a mini and I remember him being trained very quickly and not being very messy with his food or water. Spoo might be different because of size?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Do you have urine remover? I personally like harnesses better for any dog, because the leash stays in one spot on the dog’s back rather than loop around the dog’s neck, so it gets tangled less.
 

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That is definitely on my shopping list! We don't have any carpet but still good to remove smell so she won't have accidents in the same spot. Is any brand better than another or are they all the same?
 

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Soooo exciting!!

For chew toys, I recommend puppy Kongs. They're pink or light blue, and made from a much softer (and I think more resilient) rubber. Peggy actually still has hers—a traditional Kong shape and a tire. The tire still looks brand new! They're both great for stuffing and freezing.

In addition to the high-quality Kongs, for teething and early "No bite!" training I stocked up on toys of all shapes, sizes, and textures. Whatever looked good in the discount bin at Petco, or at stores like Ross. Those I always carefully supervised, and would toss at the first sign of destruction, but it was really helpful always having multiple within reach.

Our x-pen is this one:


Water bowl for mounting inside the crate:


(When you mount it inside the crate, the back mounting pieces will be accessible from outside the crate. You DON'T want these anywhere they can be chewed, so we keep the dish mounted on the side of the crate that's against the wall.)

Peggy's favourite, most durable balls for outdoor fetch:


Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Diamond Plate Ball Tough Dog Chew Toy, Chrome, Medium - Chewy.com

The most valuable, long-lasting, least stinky chew I've ever found:


Unless it was a Kong, we liked to hold puppy Peggy's chews for her. She'd curl up in our lap and really relax with them, and will still bring them to us at 14 months, to say, "Hold this, please?" And then settle in close.

Bully sticks are good, too, but soooooo slimy and smelly. And they don't last very long.

Awesome crate bed for when puppy's ready:


As for treats, I recommend just baking a bunch of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cutting them into tiny pieces, and freezing them on a sheet pan before storing them in a freezer bag. You're going to be feeding a ton, and the fewer ingredients the better. Not only are whole foods healthier, they make it easier to identify allergy triggers if puppy experiences any itching or tummy upset.

And my most valuable puppy tool of all? A written record of all pee, poos, snacks and meals, snoozes and sleeps, vet appointments, weird symptoms, training breakthroughs, etc. Jot it alllllll down.
 

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How exciting!!!!😊
So many good ideas have been given already and many more to come as there is so much out there. My contribution is “Bitter Apple” spray. It’s been a bitey puppy and young dog life saver. It’s safe and it’s a great deterrent against puppy mouths!😉 You can spray it on just about anything you don’t want puppy to chew or bite, even your hands, clothes and furniture. Bobby, at 20 months, still likes to dig his snooter in the couch and hunt for stuffing. Bitter Apple works every time. It’s also great for puppies who need to learn to not chew on the leash. Great stuff and in my mind, it is a must have. 😊
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks so much for all the great suggestions! Super helpful! I have ordered a few puppy training books as well--and unlike 17 years ago the internet is full of training videos now. With the pandemic I'm not sure if I will be able to find a puppy class to take her to--none of our parks and rec programs seem to be offering any in-person classes. We don't have young kids anymore but I plan to recruit my next door neighbors who don't have a dog to come over and play with the puppy! They are 5 and 7 years old so I'm hoping they will be enthusiastic about it but old enough to understand how to be gentle with the dog and listen to directions...
 

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Flirt pole is always on my list of recommendations. It’s still a favorite and can be used for training and when the weather is nasty outside and there is still Spoo energy to drain. Buck never liked Kong’s. I got a cotton fisherman’s vest for training, so I didn’t wind up washing dog treats from various pockets. Room for treats, waste bags, leash, flashlight, tug toys and balls. We call Spoo Day, “Gotcha Day” and celebrate it:) excited for you!
 

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Just thought of another fun one:


Peggy's loved this thing since she first encountered it in her trainer's yard during a puppy class. We finally got her one for her first birthday. :)

For puppy books, I stick to Ian Dunbar for those early days. Consistency is key, especially with a smart poodle.

But lately I've been digging into Spirit Dog's online courses. They frequently go on sale if you follow on Facebook, and I think a puppy course was just released:


Her methods are the closest I've seen to the way we train in class.
 

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Great suggestions! Thanks so much! I'm going to check out the online classes. I've never seen the flirt pole--that looks like so much fun! I have a friend with a super-active lab/Doberman mix who I bet might really like one of those also.

I am hoping to get puppy really well trained--with our mini poodle I didn't worry so much about things like jumping on people since he was so small but I definitely don't want a spoo jumping on people! Especially my mother-in-law, who's around 4'9" and 85 years old! With working at home now I should be able to do lots of mini training sessions, which will also give me a welcome break from my current job. I am normally a children's librarian but right now I am stuck doing Covid-19 contact tracing, which is no fun at all and is really depressing at times. I look forward to being back at the library but it looks like here in Southern California it still might be many months until we are allowed to re-open to the public.
 

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Aw! You're a double-hero! So grateful for contact tracers right now, but ohhhh how I love libraries.

Sounds like you must have a patient, methodical personality to do those jobs, which is going to be such a nice complement to your spoo.

Jumping continues to be our biggest challenge, and I agree that starting young is so important. The trickiest part is enforcing a zero tolerance policy when friends, family, and strangers are involved. I wish I'd been more firm about this—not with Peggy, but with them.
 

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Great suggestions! Thanks so much! I'm going to check out the online classes. I've never seen the flirt pole--that looks like so much fun! I have a friend with a super-active lab/Doberman mix who I bet might really like one of those also.

I am hoping to get puppy really well trained--with our mini poodle I didn't worry so much about things like jumping on people since he was so small but I definitely don't want a spoo jumping on people! Especially my mother-in-law, who's around 4'9" and 85 years old! With working at home now I should be able to do lots of mini training sessions, which will also give me a welcome break from my current job. I am normally a children's librarian but right now I am stuck doing Covid-19 contact tracing, which is no fun at all and is really depressing at times. I look forward to being back at the library but it looks like here in Southern California it still might be many months until we are allowed to re-open to the public.
I work at my local library too! I’ve been there for 20 years! We are actually doing curbside now and opening for Grab and Go to the public. Should be interesting. That could change of Covid ramps up though. I hold onto things loosely these days. I’m hoping to train Bobby to be a reading dog.😊❤
 

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I found it really helpful to have a gazillion toys when Galen was in the 8-12 week range. What they were didn’t actually matter. He just appreciated the novelty of something he'd never seen before. The rest of us appreciated having a distracted puppy!

One of my favorite toys was a treat dispensing giggle ball. I would load it up with a mixture of puppy kibbles and a little bit of dry cat food for variety. Pushing it around kept him occupied for a bit longer than the average toy, and the giggling noise let me know he was still playing instead of doing something naughty.
 

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...I definitely don't want a spoo jumping on people! Especially my mother-in-law, who's around 4'9" and 85 years old!...
Yes, that could be quite dangerous for your MIL. Google 'dog harness to prevent jumping' or 'jump restraint harnesses'. There are YouTube videos of these too.
 

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Hello, I am very excited that I will bringing home my spoo puppy in a few weeks time (Sept. 5 is spoo day). I would love to hear from other members what items (including brands) that you would recommend to have on hand. We already have a crate and I am planning to get a pen to put around the crate for when I can't watch the puppy closely. I don't plan to get a dog bed right away but instead will use towels inside the crate for easier washing. I am working at home right now because of Covid so that is a plus for puppy training. Our last (and only other puppy) was 17 years ago, so it's been quite a while. I plan to get kongs because I remember that was quite a favorite of our other poodle and also some dried liver treats because I remember those being very effective for training. I'd love to have thoughts about favorite toys that you would recommend, also other treats that have been popular with your dogs, and any recommendations on other misc. products. We also have pee pads but I hope not to use those since I will be able to take puppy out frequently. There are so many products out there! We never used a harness with our mini poo but perhaps it's a good idea for spoo? Thanks for any thoughts and advice you have. I read about "no-spill" bowls, too, and am wondering if that's a good purchase. We didn't use them with our other dog but he was a mini and I remember him being trained very quickly and not being very messy with his food or water. Spoo might be different because of size?

Thanks in advance!
hi!
So exciting! We love Westpaw products. You can find them online, they’re durable and can go in the dishwasher. We use the balance harness on our standard, who is 8 mos. (we also have a 13 week old who so far, we just use one we got at Target pre-Covid. We also use Stewart’s Liver treats. They make dehydrated cheese and also chicken liver and other varieties that you can get on amazon. We also use the Zukes brand training treats.
A Lickimat is great, particularly when bathing/blow drying. We put on either full fat Greek yogurt, purées fruit or veggies, peanut butter etc and freeze. We have also found the dogs love a snuffle mat and we use for a meal a day. Have some chew toys (we have one that looks like a real stick we got on amazon that they love), soft/squeaky toy (kong makes tough ones), rope toy. Hope that’s helpful!
 

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hi!
So exciting! We love Westpaw products. You can find them online, they’re durable and can go in the dishwasher. We use the balance harness on our standard, who is 8 mos. (we also have a 13 week old who so far, we just use one we got at Target pre-Covid. We also use Stewart’s Liver treats. They make dehydrated cheese and also chicken liver and other varieties that you can get on amazon. We also use the Zukes brand training treats.
A Lickimat is great, particularly when bathing/blow drying. We put on either full fat Greek yogurt, purées fruit or veggies, peanut butter etc and freeze. We have also found the dogs love a snuffle mat and we use for a meal a day. Have some chew toys (we have one that looks like a real stick we got on amazon that they love), soft/squeaky toy (kong makes tough ones), rope toy. Hope that’s helpful!
and one more thing! I know of a few positive reinforcement trainers doing online classes who are amazing. Look up Hevenly Hounds in NJ, and DeMarinis Dog Training in NY and Behavior Vets in NYC.
 

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Helpful for walks and potty training:
Some waste pickup bags. I prefer the ZippyPaws green ones with handles.

A powerful pocket sized flashlight. My favorite is a cheap one I found on Amazon, Risemart CREE XPE-R3

A pair of slip-on shoes that you don't mind ruining. Being able to quickly jam your feet into a pair of shoes and run for the door with the puppy, without fumbling with socks and laces, helps reduce night time accidents.

If your dog is dark colored, an LED you can clip to the collar helps keep track of her outside at night.

A reflective leash. I almost hit some guy dressed in black walking his dog on the road in a torrential downpour last fall. I was half blinded by oncoming traffic, and his dark clothes were invisible in the storm. His leash is what saved him. His little dog shook itself, and my headlights caught the reflection of the wildly moving leash.
 

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High velocity dryer
Wide Tooth metal comb
Quality slicker brush
About 50 toys of different varieties
Cat bells for the collar if you plan on hiking, etc.. where the dog would be off leash
 

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You’ve gotta have the shoes! All weather shoes, whether you run or walk. (Full disclosure, I’m a shoe freak:). Having a poodle prepared my shoes for this on point fav pandemic quote,”My shoes think I’ve died.” Buck has had years to get used to Sperry Topsiders and sneakers. The suspicious, clicking shoes haven’t come out and he is SO happy. I wonder if I can or even want to walk in them again...
 

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I have a pile of old shoes that are too scuffed and worn to go out in public but not worn out enough that I want to toss them. I usually use a pair from the pile for projects that might destroy whatever I wear: painting, yard work, puppy rearing. (Puppies love to grab and chew shoes.) I'd probably get a pair of Crocs if I needed to buy something.
 
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