Below is our list with descriptions of our shopping list for the items we recommend for your new family member.
With all the many choices and info available today, we have researched the best of the best and stand behind one brand, Life's Abundance. This brand is what we feed our dogs and the improvements in their coats and health was astonishing! Your puppy is eating this food in our homes and we want you to purchase this EXACT food so your puppy has a smooth transition. At their young age it is imperative not to switch their foods as it can cause digestive upset. we encourage you to order yours before your baby arrives. It is ordered from our site located here: Life's Abundance , and we do NOT stock this food. So please be sure to order from the site :)
We recommend the Small Puppy Pack for your puppy, and set up the autoship to arrive every 6 weeks. Remember, all puppies that are on auto-ship and remain on this food are eligible for our 5 year health guarantee!
Fancy dishes are not required, we use stainless steel dishes or stainless steel feed buckets that can be clipped to the whelping box or pen. They are non-chewable and easy to keep sanitized. A popular alternative are the raised feeding stations/stands. They help keep your puppy from spilling and tipping the dishes. If you find your puppy is spilling the water dish, you may like using the water bottle alternative.
Nutri-cal Calorie Supplement
This is a must have to keep on hand for low blood sugar or times puppy doesn't seem to be eating
Chew Toys & Stuffies
Your puppy is cutting teeth and loves to chew....on everything!! We love the Skinneez toys without stuffing, they are not able to tear them up and make a mess. Kongs, Cow Hooves and Bully Sticks, & anything from Petstages are all excellent choices. We have several tried and true options listed in our shop---be sure to grab a few so puppy doesn't get bored! The bones and pig snouts from Life's Abundance are also excellent healthy choices!
Bitter Apple Spray
Spray anything your don't want puppy to chew on, it really works!
Helps to eliminate separation anxiety for the first few nights!
Collars, Harnesses, Leashes, Tags
We love the harness style from Bark Appeal or Puppia (personal fave is Bark Appeal--tried and tested by our very own Habibi Bear, Diesel!. There are so many options available for dogs from fancy to plain and everything in between.
**A little hint about small breed dogs and new homes** Many families are nervous about how tiny their pup is and worry about stepping on it. When puppy first comes home, try a cat collar with a bell, then you always know where the little cutie pie is! Don't forget the name tag---micro chipping only works if the dog is scanned, the tag can be a life saver!
Brushes and Shampoos
We love all the products from Life's Abundance, as well as the Nootie brand shampoo on our site! Check out both! We have a page for grooming with recommended brushes, combs even dryers and grooming tables if you want to try grooming at home!
You will need to purchase these items to duplicate our puppy safe are in your home:
Bark Potty Litter Box (order link) or Litter box and Newspaper (ask us what we are using for your puppy's litter)
What is Litter Box Training?
Litter box training is not just for cats, and is indeed possible with puppies! It has been a series of trial and error to understand what method will work best with puppies, and how they think. Dogs are pack and den animals similar to their distant relatives the wolves. They prefer to eliminate in a specified area if given the opportunity. We have developed a system of training our puppies that is patterned after the way wolves teach their young. By creating a separate 'whelping area' and 'weaning area' the puppies learn to eliminate away from their bed. In our home, we use a whelping box to create this area---it has a separate whelping side, and weaning side. We introduce them to the Bark Potty litter box in three stages, appropriate to their age and development. The puppies naturally want to be clean, so our system works very well! The fact that our mommy dogs also use litter boxes helps too, as she will teach them to go in the box, while keeping the whelping area clean during this initial stage. As puppies start to understand eliminating in the litter box, we are able to give them more space to explore, and once they master that area, they finally graduate to the third stage, and have full access to the entire puppy pen (as seen in our videos and pictures) This is when they are now ready to go to their forever homes, and the pen area will be duplicated for a stress-free transition.
Below are the items we recommend purchasing to make the easiest, stress-free transition for puppy--- from our home to yours. When duplicating our puppy pen area, you are able to keep the puppy in a safe environment until it is fully vaccinated. We feel that the first month in the forever home, a puppy is not quite developmentally ready to begin regimented house training, and puppy still needs to be isolated from unknown dogs for risk of catching parvo or other diseases. Use this time to bond, allowing puppy to become acclimated to you and your household before serious training begins. We have given them a wonderful head start and have worked very hard to teach them valuable potty skills!
Litter Box Choices
One of the biggest challenges as a breeder in rearing puppies is dealing with their mess. Yep, it is challenging keeping those fluffy little puppies CLEAN. The old method of raising puppies involves lining the floor with newspaper and constantly picking up poo all day long. You can imagine how often you are bathing babies when they end up stepping and rolling in their messes all the time!
After years of being fed up with the mess, we researched several methods, we follow the Misty Method, yet have tweaked it to fit our needs and set up.
Litter Box Training
This is the cornerstone of our successful potty training system. All the puppies are litter box trained. We use the Bark Potty or a litter box with litter or newspaper, as it has been the most successful product for us--- so ask us which option the puppy is accustomed to before purchasing something else. Any change will confuse puppy. If you choose pellets and a box instead, there are a couple options, either inexpensive pine pellets or paper pellets (Exquisicat brand from Petsmart). You can purchase a large jumbo sized pan, (The Puppy Go Here box from our Amazon Store or Sterilite Modular boxes work like a charm!) You can purchase these items for a very small investment.
Many families ask if they have to use a litter box forever. The answer is, "it is completely up to you!" The beauty of this method is that we have taught your puppy there is a specific place to eliminate. This training makes the transition to going outdoors a breeze for our families, as the puppies have already mastered the litter box concept in their puppy safe pen. Many families have their dogs cross trained, meaning they use a litter box and also go outdoors. Some families live in RVs, High Rise apartments or simply choose to use the litter box exclusively. Which house training method you choose for your home is your choice, and we provide assistance to all of our families with our 7 day schedule and a specific 2 week house training plan (included in your puppy packet when you bring home your puppy), for those that want to teach their dog to go outside exclusively. Are Habibi Bears completely housebroken at 8 weeks old? Heaven's no, but they are leaps and bounds ahead of the average puppy. Many families report back that their puppy has very few accidents if any, so while we would love to boast they are housebroken, the reality of it is they are still babies, they can still regress. Cleanliness and routine will make all the difference in how well your puppy is house broken.
Large Iris: (for climbers or standards)
This size is larger, and if you purchase a single pen, it will create a square shape, instead of the rectangle we show with a smaller size. It is pretty tall, so reaching in to scoop the litter box is more challenging, but we simply open one panel by sliding out the pin that holds the panels together. In the begining, this size is perfect for a mini puppy, but for long term, the additional panels will create a 4 x 8 size, giving your dog more room to run and play.
Over the years we have used several types, styles, and it is a personal preference what you purchase. As with all styles, there are pros and cons.
Depending on if you plan to use the pen for the long term, you will need to consider the height and style, as puppies can use the cross bars as steps to climb out. Many families have made tops for their pens out of simple plastic lattice from Home Depot and tied it in place. Others have decided to invest in a taller pen. Here are a few options
We love the wire pens and set them up in a square or rectangular shape with the crate attached. (Watch video or view picture). This set up is great because you don't lose valuable play space for puppy by attaching the pen to either side of the crate.
Iris Plastic Pens (2 options)
We use these most the time with our pups! Listed in our Amazon Store, (featured on our litter box set up page). They are the perfect fit for the litter box! They are available in two sizes, small and large.
If you purchase the smaller size it will make the exact set up we use here. Perfect 3 x 6 area to accomodate the litter box and crate easily. You will need to order two extra panels (come in a set) to make the pen the correct size of 3 x 6, as the single pen is too small for your puppy to get the exercise required.
Topper for your Pen
It has been reported that some puppies do learn to climb out, so making a topper out of lattice is something to consider. Below are pictures of a simple hinged topper submitted by the Geoffroy Family. They had the lattice cut into two sections, hinged it to pieces of wood so it can be opened easily for cleaning, and zip tied in place, with the opened side closed with reusable zip ties. We have found using the kennel pins to work great as well, and we use these for anything and everything in our home!
We believe in using crates with all dogs! It is a crucial part of successful housebreaking. You will receive our crate training schedule with your puppy. Getting the correct crate is important! Puppy needs his den to feel safe and secure, for resting. Place your puppy's crate inside the play yard so it has access to its bed, food and potty while you are away. This is an important aspect of training your dog, and really makes it so much simpler. We find the families that do not follow a routine and crate training/confinement schedule tend to have more problems in completely housebreaking their puppies. Crate training will make the transition from litter box to being completely housebroken much smoother. Many families (us included) have dogs that are cross-trained, meaning they are trained to go potty outside or use a litter box.
We love the Petmate Elite 500. You will need a transition crate before your pup is ready for this size, or you can block off the back half until they grow into it. If your pup is being shipped, it will arrive in a transitional sized crate that you can use while its still small. Another option for the home is the Wire Crate. We recommend purchasing the covers for them, to create the Den environment for your dog. Or cover it with a blanket.
What size do I need?
There are so many brands to choose from, and each manufacturer has different dimensions. For our ADULT miniature sized dogs, we use a 200 series crate.
Training Books and Doggy Dan Online Dog Training
Obedience & Therapy Training
Our puppies are raised using a socialization program that develops strong bonding instincts and sets them up for their career as an ESD or therapy dog. We love the books and clicker training videos by Karen Pryor, and this is the system we have used to develop our breeding program. For those that want to learn clicker training, we highly recommend her system. We are hearing amazing stories from families that are using her methods.
Puppy Training & Behavior
Doggy Dan, the online Dog Trainer This is a must have!
When you bring home your new puppy, he is a fish out of water. He will need your patience and guidance in order for him to feel secure and establish a new routine and schedule. Most puppies will regress or temporarily lose some of their training due to the newness of their new home. So this is NOT anything to stress over. It's to be expected, so don't panic! For many families this initial transition can be overwhelming if not prepared. We recommend joining the Doggy Dan Online training and watching his videos BEFORE puppy arrives. This will prepare you for your new family member, and also keep you in control of the situation by being prepared for every potential issue. Our families that take the time to prepare find that it was worth its weight in gold. Instead of panicking and not knowing what to do, they are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to use this new system with their puppy. Watch the videos with your family and discuss together. This is a fun time, and a great learning experience for all of you. As with all new experiences, they come with a period of acclimation. Just like bringing home a new baby, you have to learn each other's signals and body language; a getting to know each other period. The good news is that this transition is so short, and your puppy will adjust and settle in quickly when you remain calm and confident! This is what makes puppy a GREAT family pet, loved by all. Don't forget to do this important part of bringing home your puppy!
Your new puppy is the perfect developmental age for socialization and classes at 12-16 weeks.
Canned Plain Pumpkin Pumpkin & Gerber Meat Sticks (Baby Food Isle) is great to help reset the digestive tract after a flight or for a puppy who is experiencing stress from the transition into its new home or has loose stools. A GREAT natural remedy. The meat sticks are to get the blood sugar stabilized quickly after a flight or long car ride home on delivery day.