Updated: Feb 4
Collar and Leash
For your puppy's first collar and leash, start off with something light. Think about the weight of the collar, and also the clip that attaches from your leash - you want something that will not be constantly annoying your dog.
Get your dog used to a collar and leash ASAP - this will be your main way of communicating with your dog.
Once the dog has gotten used to the light collar and leash, the weight of the clip can make a difference in how the dog walks. Be flexible with what you may need to walk your dog with eg - Gentle Leader, Slip Leash, Normal Fixed Leashes.
We have found the 15 foot long training leashes to be very useful for little pups. It allows them to learn how to follow, but flexible enough for some structure exploration time. Our range of leashes with Muttley Crew was designed for different dogs and training styles/stages.
We recommend getting a month's worth of food, of what the dog is currently used to. Speak to your breeder, shelter or pet shop to find out what your dog has been eating.
Start off with something your dog is used to, just so that we can ensure the daily structure of eating, resting, play time and walks can remain as consistent to settle the dog in.
Dog bowls - your dog does not need 10 bowls around the house. We recommend just getting ONE bowl.
It is likely your dog will only be eating OR drinking at a particular time.
Our go-to bowls are typically stainless steel with a rubber base.
We were recently introduced to the zee.dog Tuff Bowls and we LOVE the functionality and the colours!
Pro-tip : if you get your dog used to eating off different surfaces/bowls and textures - when we are on the go with our dog, we often just use a poop bag to hold the meals and feed them straight out of a plastic bag, and then proceed to use the same bag to pick the poop up!
Poop bags and your hands make for convenient emergency water bowls too. Alternatively, teach your dog to drink water as you pour it out of the bottle.
Your dog is new to your environment and whilst it is learning the boundaries within your home, never leave it unattended and unsupervised.
Think about leaving your 2 year old toddler in the living room whilst you are in the office replying emails. You would never do that!!
So whilst your dog is learning the ropes in your home, and you may not be able to watch the dog, secure it in a safe place like a crate or section areas of your home using a baby gate to keep your dog safe. Read about the benefits of crate training here.
Your dog may not need a very fancy bed to start off with (it is quite likely to rip it up for fun). Keep it's bed simple, or you could even use an old towel that smells like you whilst your dog settles into its new home.
We typically do not recommend playpens as an open-top playpen tend to encourage the dogs to jump up. This habit can be especially bad for young pups with joints that have not fully developed. Opportunistic (and athletic) dogs, will often find a way to climb out of an open-top pen.
Outside of your dog's safe zone of the crate, you need to teach your dog boundaries. We highly recommend setting an object out that would be a place for your dog to settle down. Our favourite item is a place board - it is lightweight, easy to clean and most importantly the elevation often helps the dog to understand the 'boundaries'.
Also, if your dog ends up chewing the platform, you can easily replace it!
You can purchase the Coolaroo placemat from HappyHounds here. Use the discount code "happytailsasia" to get 5% off your placemat.
For young pups, our favourite is the kong puppy chews. You can always smash yoghurt, banana, papayas into the grooves and freeze it.
Keep a couple handy in your freezer, to keep your dog entertained.
We have also found the younger pups tend to like toys that crinkle. Typically, the crinkle can hold a pup's attention better than squeaky toys. We have to admit that our ears also prefer the crinkly toys as opposed to incessant squeaking!
Having single protein chews are also perfect for keeping your dog focused on their placemat. We highly recommend the chews from the guys at Big Little Paws. Here are a couple of our favourites
Use our code "happytailsasia" for 8% off your purchase from Big Little Paws.
Single protein chews are good for new owners as they allow you to figure out if your dog may be allergic to a particular protein or if your dog favours a particular protein over another.
In conclusion, your dog only needs a couple of things to get on with its doggy life!
Keep it simple, focus on the important things like bonding and creating the right structure with your dog.