New puppy advice

(12 Posts)
shopsalot Tue 06-Aug-19 15:42:41

Hi all

I'm picking up my new puppy in a couple of weeks and I'm getting confused researching all the different items he will need. I have a long list (bowls, lead, crate etc) but I'm not sure what is best for a puppy or for the breed (golden retriever). Can anyone recommend a website with decent info? Or a pet forum? I am probably over-thinking but would like to get it right.

For example, I was going to get a harness but then I read on here that a harness may restrict shoulder movement and should avoid certain types of harness?
Bowls - stainless steel? My cats would only drink from glass bowls & filtered water (or puddles!) - are dogs as fussy?
Whistle - maybe not for puppies? I would like to do 'proper' training like gundog training or agility so thought it would be useful to get puppy used to a whistle
Clicker - have seen Zak George videos and he uses a clicker, not sure if it's for me - any views?
Chews - Kongs, any recommendations for puppy chews?
Brush / Comb??

Also I was going to start basic training and socialisation immediately but when is it best to go to puppy classes?

Just going through all the different pet insurance options now.........

Having a baby seemed easier than this - and I haven't got him yet!

OP’s posts: |
anotheryearover Tue 06-Aug-19 15:46:05

Whistle is a good idea from a young age. If you train them to not to eat until you blow the whistle (just start by making them sit and hold collar) it really helps with recall as they associate it with food/reward.

Atlasta Tue 06-Aug-19 15:57:22

It all sounds rather overwhelming.
I'd actually try and relax a little and get to know dpup.
Concentrate on the toileting and getting them to settle at night and used to the sounds and smells of the home.
Most dogs won't care too much about what the bowls are made of or whether water is filtered.
One pup may love a Kong. Others will not.
You have time to get to know dear pup better to help you decide on the other things like clickers and whistles imo

Newpupsoon Tue 06-Aug-19 16:11:59

We’ve had our pup (working cocker) for nearly 3 weeks. We have used a clicker and she will now sit, lie down, spin, drop it. Not sure whether the clicker has made it easier to pick those things up or whether she’d have got it anyway. I’d say get one (we got a pack of about 5 off amazon and have them dotted around the place.
I’ve actually just been out in the garden with her long training lead and whistle as she tends to obey me but not necessarily my kids. I want her to recognise that the whistle means come right now rather than her picking and choosing whose voice to obey. She’s picked it up really quickly (she will do anything for food)!
We got antlers for her to chew and also a heather root which just looks like a piece of wood but she seems to like it (was quite expensive though).
We have a fairly cheap Tesco brush which has prickly bristles on one side and a soft brush on the other. She doesn’t really need brushing yet but we’re trying to get her used to it.
Hope that helps x

SkeletonSkins Tue 06-Aug-19 16:22:41

We’ve got a pup and do agility so will try and help. Agree that it’s easy to get very anxious about things at first and it seems overwhelming but best thing is to spend the first few weeks working on ‘manners’ and toileting.

Bowls - any are fine, ceramic can be more tricky to tip over haha. Consider getting one that attaches to the side of a crate if you’re using a crate.

Clickers are great, I use a clicker word ‘yes’ which does a similar job but I do like clickers too.

Whistle - you don’t need a whistle for agility (in fact, they’re not allowed at competition level) but definitely for gun dog work. If you want to do agility, get some tug toys and encourage the dog to play with you, rather than by themselves or with another dog. Great for rewarding in agility.

Kongs are great but not all puppies have the attention span for them to begin with! Look at ‘likimats’ which are good, as well as the chews alteady suggested. We also got some natural treats like puffed chicken feet and rabbit ears that while gross, have gone down well and are good for them.

Remember socialisation is not just about meeting people but about different sounds l/experiences in an environment your puppy feels comfortable in - such as your front room! This is a great article about socialisation:

Puppy class - this often depends when a new class is starting but our local one accepts puppies from their first vaccination.

shopsalot Tue 06-Aug-19 17:06:38

Thanks for the replies!

Haven't got the puppy yet so want to be prepared. Completely agree with getting to know him which is why I don't want to get distracted with which bowl, harness etc once he is here

Whistle is now on shopping list and a clicker.

Will get a brush as I was thinking it was good to start him getting used to grooming, especially as he is a breed which moult a lot!

Interesting about agility not using a whistle. I haven't really thought that far ahead in terms of training (gundog v agility) but will definitely be playing with him and so will encourage retrieve exercises as well as tug and others. He comes from a line of gun dogs so genetics may take over anyway.

Thanks for link to socialisation article - very interesting. I am thinking of getting a 'sling' for the first few weeks so I can carry him safely and he will hopefully feel safe. I'll make sure he isn't overwhelmed with socialisation.

Any views on a harness for a puppy? I am getting a long lead.

Expensive aren't they?! But worth it I'm sure.

OP’s posts: |
MissShapesMissStakes Tue 06-Aug-19 17:38:46

I would say not to bother with a harness yet. He will grow too quickly and not need it at least until he’s had all his jabs.

Find a good independent pet shop who will fit the right harness for you. They are pretty expensive so don’t rush to get one as the pup will quickly grow out of it and cost you a fortune.


GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Tue 06-Aug-19 20:21:06

If your dog is a working-line gundog breed, gundog training will be great for both of you. And your whistle will end up chewed in frustration!

adaline Tue 06-Aug-19 21:20:44

I wouldn't buy anything too expensive yet - they honestly grow so quickly it's just not worth it.

Mine chewed through a lot of leads as a young puppy (and another one just last week grin so we always make sure we have several in the house at any one time just in case. We use rope leads because metal ones aren't comfortable to hold imo. We tried the Halti double-ended ones but he ate through two in a day hmm

How is he going to ride in the car? We use a seatbelt connector/harness for ours but some people prefer crates or to put them in the boot. If he goes in the backseat he needs to be firmly secured - and you'll need a harness too just in case there's an accident. You don't want the lead connected to his collar.

You'll also need an ID tag - you can get them engraved in Pets at Home for less than £10.

I would also invest in some Simple Solution to clean up the inevitable accidents - it really does work! It's about £10 a bottle but you don't need to use loads of it thankfully.

Not all dogs like Kongs - mine isn't especially interested in his - he prefers natural chews instead. As a puppy we got him stuffed hooves and fallow deer antlers, and frozen carrots. Now he's older we use pizzles, yakker chews, tripe, pigs ears and stuffed trachea (amongst others).

Good luck! It's hard at first but so, so rewarding. My beagle is 18 months now and so, so much better and more enjoyable. He's wonderful to have around.

shopsalot Tue 06-Aug-19 21:50:47

More replies - thank you!

I don't want to get too much that he'll outgrow but he needs something - either harness or collar. And dog tag - thanks, had forgotten about that.

Not sure about car travel arrangements - think probably a crate to start with. I have already ordered simple solution!

Thanks for chew info - must admit at feeling quite overwhelmed in pets at home - so many collars, leads, chews, toys.....

I'm quite interested in the gun dog training - will need to keep him active and occupied. Not sure my family believe me when I say it's going to be hard work at first - they can only see the cute fur-baby......

OP’s posts: |
GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Wed 07-Aug-19 00:27:10

If you do gundog training, you'll need a slip lead as well as a whistle. There are lots of gundog training groups on FB (Gundog training for novices is a good one) and someone on there will be able to advise you about groups and trainers local to you. Gundog trainers vary from the old school to the force free, so ask around to find one you think you'll get on with. Some of them run puppy groups and completely accept that some of the dogs are there to learn to be well-mannered pets.

shopsalot Wed 07-Aug-19 16:13:26

I'm not on FB but looks like I'm going to have to join as there seems to be so much good info on there - so will add that to the list. I'm definitely looking for the force free / reward based training so will ask around.

OP’s posts: |

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