1. Regular Flat Collar
3. ID Tag
4. Food Water Dishes
5. Food/Nutrition Supplements
7. Dog Bed/Kennel Pad
10. Canine Toothbrush & Toothpaste
11. Paper Towels
12. Enzymatic Stain Remover
13. Doggy Poop Bags
14. Baby Gate or Divider Fence/Pen
15. Toys & Chews
17. Seasonal Apparel
18. Dog First Aid Kit
19. Hydrogen Peroxide & Syringe
20. Bloat Kit/Paste
21. Pet Safety Harness
22. Training Items
23. Record Book
24. Ear Posting Kit
Collar - You'll need a regular flat collar from day 1 for your puppy. 8-12" size for 8-10 week old puppies. Females usually mature around 16" neck size, males around 18". You'll need to check and adjust the collar regularly because they grow very fast. Rule of thumb you should be able to snugly fit two fingers between the neck and collar for proper fit. Here are some types of collars to know about and consider:
Leash - 6ft is standard starting obedience length. I prefer a 4-6ft. Most people get a nylon leash at the pet store, I hate them. They burn your hands and puppies chew them. I recommend to invest in a good leather lead, lasts longer and soft on your hands. Or better yet, check out our polytek leashes that are waterproof, soft on your hands, and solid for strong dogs (matching collars available).
ID Tag - have an ID tag with name and phone number ready to go on your dog's everyday wear collar in addition to their microchip.
Food/Water Dishes - stainless steel water/feeding bowls are the only kind we recommend. DO: stainless steel, or as necessary "slow feed" bowls (dogs that eat too fast which can be a health concern for bloat), or slow feeding disks that can be placed over the food dish. Do NOT: plastic, ceramic, or glass (since they harbor bacteria which causes the all-to-common chin/puppy acne on Dobermans, they can also break or be chewed), or raised/elevated feeding bowls (health concern for bloat).
Food/Supplements - see nutrition page HERE for guidance on food. Consult with the breeder before buying any food. Generally, the brands at your grocery store are all advertising and no real quality ingredients despite what the bag says. A pet store will carry better quality nutrition. Ask your breeder if they recommend any supplements. For Dobermans we do NOT recommend giving calcium or vitamin tablets at puppy age prior to maturity as this can cause an "overdose" of nutrition and we have seen puppies develop serious joint problems and even die from it. Usually when a breeder requires certain supplements, they are making profit from it. Always consult with a veterinarian. Supplements we DO endorse: coconut oil a spoonful AM & PM will contribute to a smooth coat, vitamins/supplements recommended by veterinarian for adult dogs.
Crate/Kennel - there are three basic types of crates to choose from and each has their pros and cons. 1) Metal/wire collapsable crate, easy travel, good ventilation, dog can still see out of it or it can be covered if necessary, some dogs can get their feet or mouth stuck in the bars and injure themselves, it cannot be used for air travel. 2) Plastic crate, more enclosed feel, less ventilation, does not collapse flat for easy travel, can make the dog feel too enclosed, less sturdy compared to metal crate, more difficult to clean, allowed for air travel. 3) soft crate, ONLY for temporary use like at shows or travel, ONLY for dogs already securely crate trained otherwise very easy to rip/push out of, very easy to travel since light weight and collapsible and plenty of ventilation.
We use metal/wire collapsable crates (soft fabric crates at shows and travel). Get the biggest size you can get, with a divider to grow with the puppy so you don't have accidents and don't have to buy multiple sizes.
Dog Bed/Kennel Pad - we recommend having a nice big comfy dog bed for every day regular use. It is a designated spot that the dog can always go to. It is up to you whether you allow your dog on the furniture or bed, but either way it's nice to have a bed all their own. We keep big dog beds in our room and living room, and then soft washable kennel pads in their crates.
Grooming - for a Doberman grooming needs are simple: shampoo, dremel for nails, canine toothbrush and toothpaste, and hair trimmer if you plan to show your dog or just want to trim the whiskers etc.
*We do NOT recommend using nail clippers since it just does not get the nails short enough and it can pinch/hurt/discomfort the dog. Dremel is the only way we recommend to do nails.
Clean Up - young puppies are still learning house training, so be prepared with clean up supplies. Over the years raising dogs we have cleaned plenty of accidents and have learned a few tricks/tips. You'll need paper towels and some kind of enzymatic stain remover spray (we like the blue bottle brand "Simple Solutions" available at stores like Walmart/Target etc). Blot up the liquid with the paper towel as thoroughly as possible by standing on it with shoes on. Spray the stain generously and rub it in (test in inconspicuous area first). Blot slightly and let dry. Works great!
....for serious stains (like throw up or diarrhea if it happens on the carpet) blotting/soaking/flushing repeat repeat repeat and then apply a mixture of blue Dawn dish soap and hydrogen peroxide, or rent a carpet cleaner. Let it dry and vacuum the area.
You'll need a set of poop bags handy so you can be responsible and clean up after your pet when out and about, and you might consider a pooper scooper or extra bags for at home.
*NO pee pads. Do not ever use a pee pad with a Doberman, even for one night or one instance. (They take it as cue to go anywhere, and may not ever be able to correct or reverse that behavior.)
Baby Gate or Divider Fence/Pen - depending on the layout of your home, you may want a baby gate or dividers. This works well as a little play pen to keep them in sight and supervised while young puppies. Or to keep them in/out of certain rooms without shutting doors. Also handy for travel.
Toys & Chews - have a variety of fun doggy-safe objects for play and chewing. Ball, rope (supervision only, if they swallow the fibers this can cause major damage), stuffie/soft toys (supervision only as well, once they start ripping their soft toys its time to move on), natural bones, kong toys, puzzle toys, and chews (bully sticks okay, rawhide can make them sick we do NOT recommend it). They also will like to play tug with a simple rag/washcloth that you don't mind destroying.
Treats - have a variety of treats so that you can reward your pup when training and for good behavior. We don't use very many store bought treats due to the questionable ingredients. Treats we recommend: baby carrots, string cheese stick, hot dog, cooked plain chicken breast, and jerky. The crumbly or dry treats are hard to portion out in small rewards and not as appetizing as the moist treats, but they enjoy a little biscuit/dog-cookie sometimes.
Seasonal Apparel - if you live in an area that gets even a little chilly, coats/sweaters are a must for a Doberman. We recommend getting some lighter "dog clothes" for puppy ages just to acclimate them getting them used to wearing clothes as they grow up without pulling on them. That way when winter comes and you put a sweater on them they won't tear it off the first time. Might consider booties for snow too. ...for hot weather consider getting cool coats or cool vests. Black dobes can really heat up in the sun and blues/fawns need sun protection.
Dog Safety - these items you need to have on hand and can be a life saver. Dog first aid kit, hydrogen peroxide and syringe, and bloat kit/paste.
For car rides, please consider a pet safety harness. It will 1) keep your dog secure so they are not bouncing around roaming the vehicle, 2) allow you to keep your eyes on the road, 3) protect them in case of a collision, and 4) in the event of an emergency, the protective nature of the Doberman may hinder emergency personnel, the safety harness will restrain the dog and allow for needed help (just in case the dog is overly concerned for you and does not want strangers entering the vehicle, in notable distress, or even a calm mannered Doberman may be intimidating and will delay help, etc).
About pet safety harness - a study was conducted for safety ratings and only one so far has passed the tests. The results are in video and pretty horrific of what could happen without proper restraints. Here is the link to the company that conducts the studies: http://centerforpetsafety.org/cps-certified/
Training - training books/dvds, clicker for clicker training if that is the route you choose, training collars/leashes, treat pouches/vests for training, dog whistle etc.
Record Book - super important to keep your records and documents organized and together. We take ours when traveling, to the vet, and have on hand always. It has a tab for each of our dogs which contains their registration papers, pedigree, vaccination records, microchip info, health testing, certificates and accomplishments, etc. That way there is no "digging to find that paper" and wherever we go we can always provide proof of ownership/vaccination etc as needed.
Ear Posting Kit - learn what you'll need and how to do ear posting before you get your puppy. The breeder should teach you this. We offer a complete kit with needed supplies, instructional video, and consultation service via email/phone/video-chat. While you're still posting the ears (could take 2mos, 6mos, or even 12mos), always have your ear posting kit on hand so that if they come loose or get wet, they can be changed immediately and no progress lost.
There are several methods for ear posting (backer rod, brace systems, paper towel, tampons, etc). Through trial and error and taking tips from the best breeders across the country, we recommend and use the backer rod method.
There is some flexibility and alteration between the methods but do NOT attempt to rig up your own method or adjust the breeder's method without their consultation. Cutting off the circulation, using the wrong kind of tape in the wrong area, inserting foreign object in the ear - all of those can cause serious complications, infection, even loss of ear. It should be simple and not complicated method. Taping should be minimal. The puppy should hardly notice it is there. With support in just the right areas, and using just the right materials, it is a very simple and nonintrusive process. Read more on our How To: Ear Posting page.
Supplies: backer rod, duct tape, elastikon tape, zonas tape, scissors, pet safe adhesive remover solution, cloth, breathe right strips, torbot or eyelash glue, and instructions.