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Spring is the time when we are greeted by new puppies, and we need to make sure that we have the right equipment to make the transition from mama to your home.

In this article we will discuss the equipment you should have for your new puppy, and we highly recommend that you check out the series of articles written by Jennifer LS Pearsall with George Hickox on starting your new puppy out right.  They are the best information on making sure you start and teach your puppy right from the start.  The first puppy article in this series is titled Puppies and Imprinting: Fourteen Crucial Weeks and will help you give your pup a good start.  So what equipment do you need to help welcome and start your puppy correctly?


Taking information from Tom Dokkens Retriever Training our equipment list will give you exactly what you need during this crucial fourteen week period.


When the pup arrives you need the following:


Wire Crate with a divider that is  correctly sized to meet the needs of your puppy as he grows to adulthood.  In this way, you will only have to buy one indoor kennel for your pup.  The way to purchase this crate is to as close as possible determine the maximum size that your pup will be at adulthood.  With the divider you will be able to make the crate the correct size for your pups initial crate and house training.

Since puppies are by nature chewers because of their new teeth, we recommend that you have a supply of chew toys for them while they reside in their puppy condo.  We do not recommend purchasing a mat for the bottom of your new puppys crate but use carpet or towels to line the bottom of the kennel because of the chewing habits of pups.


Food and Water Bowls should be made from stainless steel because of the ease of cleanup and because it isnt subject to be chewed on as plastic bowls can be. Bacteria and other possibly deadly viruses can be cleaned from stainless steel using a mixture of bleach and water, just make sure that you have rinsed your bowls thoroughly after using this cleaning method.

A puppy leash and collar is recommended for as soon as your pup comes home.  While color and style are of personal preference, the only recommendation that we have is that you purchase one with a metal belt buckle type instead of the plastic snap together buckle.  With the size and strength of a sporting dog, they can easily in a moment of panic or exuberance jerk hard enough to allow the snap type buckle to fail and come apart.  This can turn into a dangerous situation for you and your pup.

Use a short 1/4 check cord with snap to allow your pup to learn restraint by letting him drag it around any time he is out of his kennel.  You can get this type check cord at your local home improvement store for around $10.00. Your pup will drag this cord around and will hang it on everything from furniture to feet, and he will struggle then relax (an early learning opportunity to turn pressure off) but wont associate any of this with you which will make training easier once it becomes more structured.


Once your pup starts school, which is at about 12 16 weeks old, you will need Check Cords and Command Collars are like Remote Control for your  Dog to add either a 30 Check Cord or a 50 Check Cord with a properly sized choke or command collar to work on basic obedience and other skills that your pup will be learning.