Originally Posted by NeedName
I am bringing home my new boxer puppy at 7 weeks of age at the end of April. I already have another dog so I mostly know what supplies I need. However, I was wondering if there was anything that I should make sure to have that I hadn't thought of. Below is my list of "will-haves" before the puppy arrives:
Leash, collar (should I get a neck collar or a harness?), food/water bowls, brush (what kind do I get? My current dog has long fur.), crate, LOTS of toys, food, newspaper, cushion/dog bed...
If you could share some input on anything that I have forgotten or comment on the types of things I should get, that would be great!
One thing that's very nice to have for a crate is a divider. If you limit the amount of space they have in the crate to only the amount that they need, you have less fear of your pup using one side of the crate as a bathroom and the other side as a bed. I used a divider with Loki, and he has only had a whopping one accident in his crate since I got him seven months ago (and that was a result of him having the squirts and being unable to hold it for very long at all). A lot of the metal crates you can buy will come with one. They're kind of a pain to set up (lots of sore fingers), but they work wonders, and you only have to move it every couple of weeks.
As for the brush, all you really need is one of those circular metal shedding tools that are designed to remove dead hair. Boxers have a very short, neat coat that doesn't really require you to brush it. Just use it on your pup every day (or every other day) during times when he's shedding a lot. Aside from the shedding tool (which Loki has actually come to enjoy), I don't brush him, and his coat stays very nice and clean.
For the collar, I'd just go with a standard neck collar. If you get him adjusted to walking with it at a young age (before he's big enough to pull you), you'll avoid the hassle of ever having to use a harness at all.
You might also consider purchasing some Bitter Apple or similar spray. Spray it on your furniture legs and it will generally keep your pup from chewing on them. The spray doesn't work for every dog (but it's cheap, so you're only out a few bucks either way), though, so be aware of that. Some of them actually enjoy the taste. Thankfully, Loki wasn't one of them.
As someone else mentioned, you'll certainly want some form of deodorizer for any accidents (you're bound to have at least a few accidents). I can't remember the name of the stuff I used, but I bought it at PetCo and it was less than five dollars. It works well enough, although Loki never really had enough accidents for it to be a major issue.
For toys, I can only share my personal experience with my Boxer Loki, but here are some of his favorites from when he was a baby:
- A tennis toy of some kind. He had a little tennis dumbbell when he was a pup, and he loved it. I think dogs just like the feel of the tennis material in their mouths.
- A rope toy to play tug of war with. Boxers love tug of war. Just make sure you never let the dog win to avoid any dominance issues.
- A size-appropriate hard bone for him to chew on. Nylabones are always good, and they're safe to leave inside his crate as well while they're still relatively new. Your dog will be teething, and as such will appreciate something to chew on.
- A plush toy of some sort. These don't last long (they have a decent shelf life during the first six months of your pup's life, though), but Loki always loved them. I can't give them to him anymore, though, because he just destroys them in one day.
- If you can find one, one of those toys that you wet down and put in the freezer. Those are great for teething dogs. Loki absolutely loved the one I got for him, even when it was dry.
- As others have mentioned, a Kong toy that you can put a treat in is always nice, especially for those first few times you've got to leave puppy in his crate for an hour or two alone.
Oh yeah, and treats, treats, treats. I really like those tiny bags of training treats for teaching basic commands and tricks. They're great because the dog can eat them in one quick bite, so you don't have to wait for them to finish before doing a trick repetition. They also have a very strong meat smell, which keeps the dog interested in them. Additionally, biscuits are always good for rewarding general good behavior (like coming inside after a successful potty break).
And good luck with your new Boxer pup!