Warning: There may be some graphic photos in this post regarding foot protection for your pup!
Have you ever wondered what you need to get when getting your first puppy ever or even a new puppy? You're not the only one, a lot of people have this problem, getting a puppy can be a bit hectic. Figuring out what food you should get or if you should get a kennel for them to sleep in can be a difficult decision. There are many other things that you need to decide on for your new pup as well. The best starter kit I've discovered that works best for a first or new puppy goes a little bit like this.
Food for your new puppy!
If you're getting from a breeder find out first what they are feeding your new pup, once you find that out if you feel its a good food then you can stick with that one. If you feel its not the food you'd like dogfoodadvisor.com is an absolutely amazing resource for dog foods. It gives you the star rating, ingredients, as well as a way to be contacted about recalls on any foods! It's an extremely helpful site! You may be thinking "what if I want to start my pup on a new food? How do I do that?" The best way to avoid tummy troubles from switching foods too quickly is to start off a majority of the old food and a little of the new food and gradually fade out the old food. Same goes for if you're adopting from a shelter so that way you won't have any tummy troubles when they first come home.
Finding the right kennel and bed for your puppy!
If your puppy is a large breed it's not always a bad thing to get a larger kennel than you need at the time. Most have kennel separators that way your pup doesn't have way too much room and have accidents often in the kennel when you're working on potty training. If you don't want to get a huge kennel you can always get a smaller kennel then later on upgrade as your pup grows, a good brand that I've found is Kong. Beds are pretty simple to pick, figure out the best size for your puppy and how you'd like the bed to feel and you've got the perfect bed for your puppy. There's flat and fluffy beds, but be careful of heavy chewers for fluffy beds. If you don't it'll look like a fluff tornado came through! My pups personally prefer beds that are flat in the middle and have sides all around.
"What about first collars and leashes?"
To start I don't ever recommend retractable leashes; I don't like them and I wont use them. Too often they cause problems and pups can get hurt if they are allowed to far, they also often break easily. Regular 4-6 foot leashes are absolutely awesome! For puppies when getting a new collar you usually just need a size small for them. Awesome thing about collars and leashes if you want them to match you absolutely can get matching collars and leashes for your new baby!
"How about food and water bowls?"
Well depending on if you'd like to free feed or not you can get just a regular bowl, either a medium to large bowl, or just start off with a small puppy bowl. All my pups start with a medium to large bowl and their food is measured out. If you decide to free feed you can always get one of the plastic food dispensers, they can always work for water as well. To be completely honest with the amount of dogs I personally have and the size they are they have a large bucket for water.
"Should I get pee pads?"
I personally don't recommend it for potty training since a lot of the time puppies can be a tiny bit stubborn about going potty consistently outside if they are taught on potty pads. One thing I do recommend though are potty bells! They are super simple to teach your pup how to use. Simply have your puppy paw or nose the bells hanging from the door they go potty out of each time they go outside. This will teach your puppy that any time He/She needs to go potty that the best way to let you know is to ring the bells.
I absolutely hope this helped you guys out! if you have any questions or would like some extra help putting together your first puppy starter kit feel free to contact me!
Britney Lippke Owner and trainer of Koba's Four Paws Institute, LLC
Hi guys! So you've reached my first blog post where I'm going to talk a little about me. Also, how I got into training, my training methods, what kind of training I provide and why my programs are the way they are.
So a tiny bit about myself first. My name is Britney I will be Twenty-Two this year. I have been training for almost four years now and this year will make the second year of Koba's Four Paws Institute being open. I've always had a passion for animals, always owned multiple different species from livestock to small animals. I currently have Four dogs and Three rats. In 2014 I got Koba, a crazy full of himself malamute, who ended up becoming my service do. With a little help of an awesome trainer and some amazing friends I successfully owner trained my own service dog. I was always able to teach the minor basics such as sit, down, stay, But never anything else. As Koba's training continued I figured out what I wanted to do. I began looking for places hiring for an apprentice dog trainer and I found one! I worked there for almost a year then decided that I loved it so much I wanted to start my own training business. Now the hard part started, coming up with a name. So I sat and thought "what in the world should I name this business" I finally decided it needed something with Koba's name in it as he is the sole reason I started training. I finally came up with Koba's Four Paws Institute with the help of a past friend. It took over a year for me to finally figure out what I was going to do about my logo till my lovely photographer who was visiting go the perfect photo of Koba, making him the face AND namesake of my business.
I started off as a complete Positive Reinforcement trainer. I'm now what you would call a more balanced trainer. I wanted to expand my knowledge on tools and what different types of training there are. I 100% always start with positive reinforcement no matter what; Treats, Praise and Making everything as positive and rewarding as possible. Now where it gets into me not being completely classified as a positive reinforcement trainer is because I will if I think it's needed recommend two tools that I personally use on my own dogs, I don't ever push these on clients if they decide they aren't interested I'm completely okay with it and we try a different route. Those two tools are a Prong Collar and an E-Collar which a lot of people know as a "shock collar". Both tools are absolutely amazing if used properly they don't cause any harm to the dog whatsoever. With E-Collars both of mine are conditioned with just the vibration no shock needed. But they are a last resort if nothing else is helping and the owner is getting frustrated. In my training I use A LOT of treats, Praise, Luring for commands, and Toy rewards.
When looking for a trainer or anyone who deals with pets you may wonder what services they provide and want to know a bit more about them than whats on their website. Well here is your chance! I provide a variety of "basic" and "advanced" Training for dogs I'm hoping to eventually get into some sports and other things but for now I provide that as well as I am officially a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator (CGC)
Which means I provide a class for it as well as just the CGC testing if your pup is ready for it! Another part of training I provide is Service Dog training for the disabled, My service dog program is a two year program that covers everything and anything you need to know regarding service dogs, your rights, and getting your dog completely trained to best fit your medical needs. I work with Children and Adults in need of service dogs. I also offer drop in pet sitting and 30 minute dog walks.
So this is all about my obedience programs which for the most part are fairly customizable. You may be wondering now "How do her programs work?". Dogs are like children in a way where they each learn differently and at a different pace. I had them where it was 8 sessions and your pup was supposed to learn a set amount of commands in 8 sessions, that didn't succeed. This is the most important reason I changed my packages to programs, because my goal is for you and your dog to succeed as a team. I no longer require a set amount of sessions for my programs as I've learned not all dogs will learn the same. I have changed my programs multiple times and done so many different ways and so far the current way has worked the best for my clients and their pups. It's become so much easier for me to have more time with the pups and make sure they succeed in what I'm training with them.
Now we are going to talk a bit about my Service Dog program, It is a TWO year Program you are signing up for and being committed to. In this program I cover ALL obedience from my Koba's Scouts program, All task training, Public access training, Preparing for CGC test and giving the test, Providing the very first starter vest when the pup is ready to start public access and having access to work alongside other service dog teams. This program is my most in-depth program I offer, Sessions are a minimum of two hours long. They can be weekly or bi-weekly and even multiple times a week. You will be able to contact me at anytime for help if you need some extra help with your pup during the period that I'm not working with them for the rest of the week. I'm always here to help even my obedience clients, I'm just a text or call away.
I will be starting to do weekly blog posts possibly more! If you guys have any ideas or topics you'd like covered in a blog feel free to comment, Email, Or text me your ideas!
- Britney Lippke