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Leerburg Dog Training Blog

The best source for dog training news, tricks and treats, right from world class leaders in dog training.

The best source for dog training news, tricks and treats, right from world class leaders in dog training.

New Puppy Essentials

One of the things that most new puppy owners find intimidating is the vision of a professional dog trainer out there competing in any of the dog sports around. They’re usually using multiple collars and a fancy harness. They’re wearing a training vest with a ton of gadgets hanging from the vest and shoved into the pockets. But you don’t need all of that.
So what is it that you really need? What are the bare essentials that any new puppy owner needs, regardless of your ultimate training goals or your training expectations? ┬áTo start, there’s a few simple management tools that you’ll need.
You’re going to need a leash. Preferably a lightweight and a quality leash. You’re going to need a collar and/or a harness. It’s up to you whether you want to use a collar or harness with your puppy. Along with that, you’re going to need somewhere to put your puppy when you can’t be around, so you could use a crate or an Ex Pen (a Leerburg favorite). We recommend Ex Pens simply because they’re easy to fold up and move into different rooms throughout your house. Ex Pens are also a great alternative to a crate.
Along with those management tools, there are a few things that you’ll need to take care of your puppy. Your puppy obviously needs to eat, so we recommend feeding an all natural diet. Taking care of your puppy starts with what they eat, so get a good quality dog food for your puppy. You’re also going to need 2 bowls to keep your dogs food and water in.
Unless you plan on spending a lot of time and money at the groomer, we recommend investing in a brush and a small nail clipper for your puppy. Another thing we recommend getting a new puppy is a dog bed.
Regardless of if you’re planning on competing at high level obedience or you just want a well-mannered house dog, you’re going to need to set up some type of training plan, and everybody in your household is going to need to be on the same page. We recommend taking a look at either or both of our DVDs, Your Puppy Eight Weeks to Eight Months, and Living with Your Puppy.
Last but not least, you’re going to want to get some type of treat. We offer a variety of all natural quality dog treats, but you don’t need to buy expensive treats. You can cut up chunks of steak that you have left over from dinner last night or you can use string cheese or lunch meat. It does not matter, as long as your puppy looks at it as a high-value food reward.
All the other gadgets to start out with, you’re not going to need. You can use a hoodie or jacket with pockets to keep training treats in rather than investing in a bait bag or expensive training vest. When you’re getting started, keep it simple. You’re going to find a ton of uses for all those gadgets later on down the road, but in the beginning, you only need a few things to be off to a great start towards developing an amazing relationship with your new puppy.


  1. Avatar
    Bruce Stone
    September 21, 2017

    Like always, Another Clear, Concise, Well Written, Useful Article that hits the Nail On the Head. 10 points and “Thanks” for Sending It ~

  2. Avatar
    Nick Marin
    September 22, 2017

    Thank you, Jeff. Thank you Leerburg. All you need is a puppy a the will to train him/her.

  3. Avatar
    November 1, 2017

    My puppy recently got hung up on an x pen twice in the space of a few days. It was terrifying for both of us. I thought the first time was a fluke, but after the second time I asked around and the horror stories were terrible. I had no idea how dangerous those things can be! Mine are getting junked. Is there a safer version?

    • Avatar
      Jeff Frawley
      November 2, 2017

      There are some other cheap plastic style pens out there. But if they are getting hung up on a metal one I don’t see the plastic option changing anything.

      I have not seen a dog get “hung up” on an ex-pen. did it hook the collar? If so, I would just be conscious about that and take the collar off when using the ex-pen.

      I would also never leave a puppy in an ex-pen without supervision. I’m not saying you have to stand there and watch the pup the entire time. But you should be in general vicinity. Basically, Don’t use ex-pens when you leave the house. That is what a crate is for.

      I think the ex-pan is probably the most important tool for me keeping my sanity with new puppies in the house. Honestly, don’t know how I ever did it before using them.

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