Congratulations you have carefully researched breed choice and have chosen a reputable breeder (or rescue) to welcome home your new family member! It is a really exciting time while you await your pup. The page Puppy Timeline explains to you the development they go through and what you can expect for as they grow. Here is a checklist of what to prepare and consider BEFORE your little bundle arrives.
1. Get your finances in order so that your deposit and subsequent payment for the dog are prepared and on time. Save up not only for purchasing costs, but for all the supplies and care you will need when you first get your puppy.
2. Puppy proof your home. Check the fencing that it is secure and no gaps, get in the habit of keeping items off the floor and cords/hazards out of the way. Review if you have any plants/animals in the area that could be a danger to puppy. Establish where puppy will sleep and eat etc.
3. Familiarize yourself with the standard of care for your dog (general care, nutrition, training, ear posting, etc) Beyond what you consider basic pet ownership, there may be a few things your puppy or breed of dog may require. (For example: frequent grooming and baths for Chinese Crested dogs. Consistent nail care for Dobermans. Specific nutrition requirements etc.) Ask your breeder and research if there is anything beyond the basics that you should prepare.
4. A really fun part.. shopping! Get all the needed supplies. (Collar, leash, food, bowls, bed, crate, toys, etc) We have a whole page dedicated to specifically what you will need for a Doberman Pinscher and our most recommended brands (HERE).
5. If you don’t already have a trusted Veterinarian, find a good vet near you that is accepting new clients. When you have dates available, schedule the first wellness exam within 72hrs of receiving your puppy, and from there schedule for vaccine updates. Ask them about flea/tick/parasite prevention specific to your area. …besides a day veterinarian, have on hand an emergency vet’s number just in case.
6. Find a good club, class, or trainer to do your puppy socialization and basic obedience class. Time it so that puppy has had all his/her vaccines before enrolling. We recommend to use the AKC.org site to search for AKC clubs in your area. The classes are positively oriented with knowledgeable instructors. They can teach basic obedience that will also be the best foundation for the future if you decide to try out some competitive obedience or agility courses. Those classes are also usually the most affordable, and get you connected with a whole community of dog lovers. If that is not available, your local parks & rec dept. may host classes or PetSmart/PetCo/pet specialty store. Just be certain that the training is positive based.
7. Determine right away where/who puppy will stay with if you have to leave unexpectedly or planning ahead for daycare or vacation stay needs.
8. Consider if you will have pet insurance for your dog. Check with the breeder if there are any they work with or recommend. Arrange this early because there are usually perks and discounts for puppies enrolled by 8 weeks of age.
9. Have your record book all ready to go (see HERE).
10. Discuss with family/household members expectations of care, responsibility, and “rules” for the new dog. Think about names too!
11. Schedule time off of work for when you first get your puppy so that you can acclimate them to their new home and be very close the first week or two. Arrange for a babysitter if needed just when you first pick up puppy. Have two people so that one can drive and the other can hold puppy. Bring a towel to hold them on in case they have an accident, but give them opportunity to bathroom before you take them home and first thing when you get them home.
12. When you get your puppy, don’t forget to follow up with the breeder! Let them know of any questions or concerns as they arise. Thank them as you develop a bond, love, and appreciation for your new pet. Share photos and milestones and new accomplishments! …if part of the PRIMA Family, take a look at current news and events and welcome other new family!
As you are anxiously waiting, prepare all those things and get excited by connecting with other Doberman owners through social media, visiting informative websites, reading/viewing articles or videos!