"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." -Roger Caras
Bringing home a new puppy to your family is always exciting! It's a special time, and you have lots of hopes, dreams, and expectations for that little fluff ball in your arms. A new puppy is just like bringing home a new baby.
In preparation for bringing home your new puppy, you should puppy-proof your home and purchase supplies and food. To puppy-proof your home, remove any ornaments, magazines, books, curtain cords, shoes, plants, or other household items that will be at your puppy's level. Put them all away in closed closets or on shelves that are well out of puppy's reach. Don't leave any small items lying around that could be swallowed, keep the lid firmly on the trash can, and make sure no cleaning products or human food items are unattended. Hide electric cords behind heavy furniture to prevent electrocution. No matter how carefully you puppy-proof your home though, you're going to need to supervise your puppy at all times as it only takes a minute for puppy to get into trouble. See suggestions below for general supplies.
In preparation for bringing home your new puppy, you should schedule a puppy exam with your veterinarian within 48 hours of your puppy pick up date. Be sure to review an appropriate vaccination schedule, parasite prevention, heartworm prevention, spay/neuter, and pet identification microchip with your vet during the visit.
On the day of pick up, you should bring a travel pet carrier, old towels, paper towels, and water for your new puppy. Remember to avoid public areas until your puppy has completed the full vaccination schedule.
Don't allow your puppy to have full access to your entire home in the beginning. Having too much area to explore will hamper housebreaking and give more opportunities for your puppy to get into mischief. Use a play pen or exercise pen to contain your puppy or use baby gates on doorways to limit access to your rooms. Confine your puppy to an area with flooring that is easy to clean such as vinyl or ceramic tile.
If you have children, encourage them to be very gentle and quiet around your new puppy. Always supervise children with your new puppy.
Begin crate training right away whenever your puppy is not supervised. Start off with short periods in the crate, but be sure to ignore any crying and whining while in the crate. Leave a TV or radio on when your puppy is left alone to help with anxiety. Never leave your puppy unsupervised with access to your entire home. Puppies can get into trouble or eat something dangerous very quickly.
During initial housebreaking, the average 8 week old puppy will need a potty break approx every 30 minutes to 1 hour during the day and at least once during the night. Never leave your puppy alone outside for long periods of time. Do not change the diet of your puppy quickly as this results in diarrhea.
Poodles do not shed, but they do require more grooming than other dog breeds. Touch and handle your puppy all over the body. Practice good hygiene early with your puppy by brushing the coat, trimming the nails, cleaning the ears, rub the belly, and brushing the teeth. Bathe your puppy every 2 weeks with gentle puppy shampoo. See suggestions below for supplies needed for complete grooming.
To make sure that your adorable little fluff ball grows up to be a friendly, well adjusted, and well behaved adult, you will need to make sure that your puppy gets plenty of positive socialization, learns basic manners, and attends a puppy obedience class. Don?t encourage behavior that you?ll regret when your puppy becomes an adult. Jumping up and biting may be cute when your puppy weighs ten pounds. It will not be cute when your dog is 55 pounds. After your puppy has completed the puppy vaccinations recommended by your vet, take your puppy out with you on errands, to the park, to PetSmart, to play dates with other vaccinated puppies/friendly dogs, to puppy classes, to Lowe's, etc. Expose your puppy to many different things in positive settings - car rides, people wearing hats, children, agility equipment, vacuum cleaners, cats, baby strollers, steps, typical household noises, etc. Never leave your puppy unattended in a vehicle, ride with it's head out of the window, or ride in the bed of an uncovered pickup truck. Teach good leash manners early. At 16 weeks of age, we strongly suggest enrolling your new puppy in a basic obedience class at a dog training club or a reputable pet store so your well-behaved puppy will be an enjoyable pet for many years of companionship! See training suggestions below.
It is strongly recommended that you spay/neuter your puppy between the ages of 12 months-24 months of age. This will allow the growth plates to fully develop. Our contract requires the spay/neutering of companion puppies by the age of 2 years. Discuss this with your vet at your initial puppy visit.
Feed your puppy quality puppy food. We recommend PropPlan puppy chicken and rice. Switch slowly to a quality dog food at 1 year of age.
Puppy Culture The Powerful First 12 Weeks (plus other videos as needed)
Pet carrier or crate for use at home (recommend 42" folding crate with movable divider)
Nylabone puppy teething chew toys
Adjustable buckle collar
Pet identification tag
Buster food cube
Interactive treat toys such as puzzle toys and food dispensing toys
Stainless, glass, or ceramic food and water bowls
Cotton web lead (recommended 6 foot)
Kong sqeaker tennis balls
Poop scoop set
Bags on Board dispenser and waste bags
Safe Paw ice melter
Sealable food storage container
Flexi retractable lead
Travel bowl/food container
Old soft towels
Puppy training pads or newspaper
High quality vehicle kennel for travel (recommended https://rufflandkennels.com/ typically size Intermediate-Large)
Carpet cleaner/stain and odor remover (recommended Nature's Miracle)
Folding containment/exercise pen (recommended Play Yard)
Small training reward treats
Bitter Apple chew deterrent
Microchip (implanted by your vet)
Nail clippers (recommend Master Grooming Tools Ergonomic Professional Nail Clippers)
Kwik Stop styptic powder
Slicker brush (recommend Chris Christensen Big G Slicker Brush Large coral color or Master Grooming Tools Ergonomic Slicker Brush)
Combs (recommend Chris Christensen 004 Poodle Buttercomb and Master Grooming Tools Ergonomic Pet Grooming Comb)
Pet toothbrush and toothpaste
Dog clipper (recommend Oster A5)
Clipper blades (recommend sizes 30, 10, and 4)
Straight and curved shears
Reach out for more grooming information if you will be showing your puppy
Online Shopping Resources
Basic Training Videos
Oriole Dog Training Club - Baltimore, MD
Papillonia Dog Training - Red Lion, PA
Breakaway Action Dogs - Frederick, MD
Canine Training Association - Beltsville, MD
Obedience Training Class of Harrisburg - Mechanicsburg, PA
My K9 Buddy - Westminster, MD
Blue Ridge Dog Training Club - Fairfield, PA
Dauphin Dog Training Club - Harrisburg, PA
Top Dog Obedience School - Flanders, NJ
Front and Finish - Canine Performance publication