Radar's Recon

Bringing Home A Dog For The First Time

Taking care of a dog isn’t as easy as it seems. Bringing home a brand new pup or a older dog that needed a new home, you are going to have a lot of teaching to do and could end up very quickly feeling over whelmed. To help you be prepared here is a quick list of things that you help you manage your new dog and some quick tips on safe games and discipline methods.

Things you’ll need

Crate: Never underestimate having a crate. There may come a time when you need it to transport them, don’t assume you’ll always be home. It’s best to begin crate training on day one.

Collar and Leash: Start with a plain flat-buckle collar and a 6-foot leash. It’s not necessary to purchase anything fancy, with extra handles or bungees. Your starting set will likely need to be replaced anyway.

Toys: Kong is the best but make sure you’re getting the right kong for your dogs size, age, and chew style. You may not know your dog’s chew style just yet, so start with age and size recommendations first. Consider buying a few tennis balls or mind games to add to your pup’s collection.

Bed: You want your dog to have a comfortable place of their own. Make sure they know where their designated spot is before you begin allowing them on furniture. Furniture privileges should come with rules for your dog, these will be better enforced if they already know their spot.

25 to 30 foot long line: Freedom is something that must be earned. They are new to the house, whether a puppy or new dog. They probably don’t know that come when called means come to me every time. Until that happens, you shouldn’t give them the option to blow you off, even in the backyard.

Grooming equipment: Even if you plan on using the services of a groomer, you will need a few pieces of equipment for those times in between sessions. For instance, your dog’s teeth should be brushed everyday and, in most cases, so should their fur. Make sure to have a good brush that matches their fur type and keep a pair of nail cutters on hand as well.

Feeding dishes: Metal dishes are best; they are easier to clean and do not hold bacteria like plastic.

Play time 

We suggest avoiding tug of war and wrestling, to start. Better games to start out with are fetch and find it. Treat puzzles are also great to keep their mind active and their teeth off of you.


Housebreaking isn’t just potty training. Housebreaking is leaving your dog for 8 hours and knowing nothing will be destroyed when you come home. This is where your crate comes in. You want your dog to have as little unsupervised time as possible to catch undesired behaviors as they happen. This means your new dog should be inside, on a leash or, in a crate.

Young dogs need a routine, success and failure to learn to pee outside. You should take them out every 45 minutes to an hour, even if they peed last time. To ensure success, have a designated potty area that you take your dog to each and every time, before letting them play. Praise the moment they pee, don’t wait to go back inside to give them a cookie; take it outside with you.

Discipline do’s and don’ts 

Never use your hands or an angry tone of voice to discipline your puppy or new dog. What works better is, keeping the collar and leash on them, keeping them in sight, and using a shaker can. When you see your dog doing a naughty behavior, shake the can to startle the puppy and interrupt the behavior. Then, hide the can so the puppy doesn’t see where the noise came from. You can redirect them with good behavior, a sit, name recognition, a good chew toy, then you may praise them for their good behavior.

If anyone is out there, using Google Maps to randomly choose new parks like I am, you’ll be surprised to find out that Oakhill is not actually a park, but a wooded area along the Merritt Trail. Radar and I were definitely not disappointed. Walking along the Merritt Trail provided not only wildlife distractions, but city distractions also, as it follows the 406 in that area. 

A tip for getting to the park if you’re unfamiliar if you’re using Google Maps, it will try to tell you to stop in the middle of the highway. You may need to set your GPS to avoid highways, or find an alternate landmark nearby for ease of access.

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