New Puppy Owner: Where Do You Begin?

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What to buy, training tips, & more as a new puppy owner

Puppy fever, who has it? I do!! Luckily, some of us have been bringing home our new best friends. I am #sojealous if you are a new puppy owner.

Since a few of my friends and clients are new puppy owners so I thought why not write a quick guide on Where To Begin as a New Puppy Owner.

A friendly reminder that I’m not a dog trainer, this article is based off of my own experiences. 🙂

In this article, I provide links to my Amazon Influencer Store. If you were to purchase items through the link, I would earn a small commission. Purchasing through the link is at no extra cost to you & helps support me in my entrepreneurial endeavors.

What to Buy for Your New Puppy:

If you’re able to buy these things in person at a local store, please do that so that your money remains in your local economy. A few of my favorite local stores in the Twin Cites are Copilot Dog Outfitters and Chuck & Don’s.

My favorite small business shops for collars & leashes is Harbor Hound Co, they make biothane collars & leashes that are waterpoof & look like leather but are vegan.

When starting out buying collars & harness’, I recommend buying cheap options because they will grow quickly.

Here is a list of all my must haves for bringing your new puppy home.

New puppy Owner

If you’d like to buy high quality treats & chews, easy to clean leashes & collars, see my small business recommendations here.

Puppy Training Resources:

Well trained dogs are easier to live with.

Being a new puppy owner, especially a new dog owner in general can be overwhelming. Trust me, I felt the overwhelm & exhaustion. I stopped showering for a bit & cried a lot.

I loved Training with Zac George on Youtube. A few videos I watched on repeat:
How to stop puppy biting
Learn to Crate Train
Tips for Potty Training

Another online training resource you can use is Puppr App. It’s full of easy to follow training videos & written text, making it perfect for the new puppy owner.

While I relied heavily on online training resources in the beginning of my journey, I now highly recommend also seeking out in-person training classes because In person-training helps socialize your puppy but it also means that you receive in-person help.

I loved our Puppy Play class at Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley. If you’re unable to attend play groups there, you can also inquire at your local training facilities or Petco.

My favorite place for dog training classes in the Twin Cities is The Canine Coach. I’ve taken 3 group classes with them with 2 instructors. I have nothing but great things to say about their approach.

If you plan on competing in dog sports, I recommend enrolling in a Sports & Foundations class while your pup is still young. I knew I wanted to do Agility with Rudy, but couldn’t find a class that worked with my schedule. Now, Rudy is in a Sports Foundations class with dogs that are ages 15 weeks – 1.5 years, while he is 1 year, 8 months.

Clicker Training: Is it worth it?

When I first started working with Rudy, I didn’t use a clicker. because I didn’t think it would make much of a difference. After a week or so of struggling with our training, I decided to try it out.

After a few minutes, the commands started to make sense! It blew my mind & I haven’t looked back sense.

Find clicker recommendation here.

Should I Crate Train my pup?

In my opinion, yes. Crate training was a savior. It took time, but it gave me the breaks that I needed when Rudy was being a shark & biting. Using a crate helped ensure that he wouldn’t go potty on the ground when I was in the bathroom.

The crate kept him safe and as a result it gave me peace of mind that he wouldn’t get into trouble while I was busy & not paying attention.

I slept on the floor for weeks as Rudy was learning to sleep in his crate. At first, I’d have my hands in his crate touching him as he learned to sleep in his crate. After a handful of days, I removed my hands from the crate, but still slept next to him. Several days later, I began to move further away from the crate, every night. Eventually, I was able to sleep in my bed.
It was a long process, but so worth it.

Here are some games that helped Rudy learn to love his crate.
Crate Training Definitive Guide – Why and How to do it
Power Tip #3: Bait + Restrain – Crate Training Game that WORKS
Crate Train a Dog With This Game! The “Bait Locker” Power Tip #4

Remember: When crate training, it’s best to not have anything in your pup’s crate.

Puppies love to chew on everything. By putting a bed or blankets in their crate without supervision, it could lead to them eating the item & subsequently having a blockage in their stomach / intestines (which is really, really bad.)

Find a crate recommendation in the link above.

Research your puppy’s breed(s)

One of the first things I do when I meet a new dog, is I ask what their breed(s) (or expected breed(s) are).

Knowing a dog’s breed(s) can give you knowledge on their personality traits, grooming care, training approach, & more.

To be clear, make sure to research your dog’s breed(s).

Shop Around for Your Veterinarian

You don’t have to stick with the first vet that you go to.

Listen to your gut. How do they make you feel? If it’s not positively, try a different vet.

A few things to look for: Does a friend or family recommend them? Are they open on the weekends? Do they have an urgent care? What types of products are they selling? Do they align with your values?

Personally, we have 2 vets. 1 for holistic care & the other for emergencies.

New puppy owner" a guide on how to bring home a new pup
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Bringing a puppy home is hard work, but it’s so worth it to have your new best friend.

You’re in for a wild ride over the next few months as a new puppy owner.

Keep with your training, it’s worth it.

I promise that puppyhood gets easier as time goes on. You’ll learn a lot & so will your pup. Enjoy the little moments, love up on them, & observe their many “first” experiences that life has to offer them.

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

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