Preparing for the Puppy

Last Updated on 2022-02-09 by Admin

Preparing for a puppy
Annie Right after we got her

My wife had many Boxers in the past. As a Boxer fan, her criteria for what she desired was clear. After a long search, we did find a suitable puppy. We met the breeder and were able to inspect the mother and the puppies.

The most independent puppy of the litter, Annie, was the one we liked the most. The owner provided some background history on the mother, birth of the puppies and the father. Annie would get all the shots, get micro-chipped, the paperwork for it would be ready the day of the pick-up.

Puppy proof the home

We needed to puppy proof the apartment. Collect all the extension cables, roll them up and hide them as good as possible where a puppy can’t reach them. Install a baby gate for the kitchen entrance. To bar Annie from going to the kitchen.

Getting a crate and mat

As Soon as You mention crates, It gets strong reactions. The image of dogs behind wire cages, freedom curtailed, living conditions that are poor. I’m also against taking the freedom away from animals. Animals need compassionate treatment.

Used correctly, a crate at home serves two purposes.

Protection from Harm

Harm can come in many ways. Puppies can wonder about and chew on electrical cords at night, for example. Having the door closed at night for a puppy then makes sense.

Space that Belongs to the Dog

The other is to provide a private space that belongs to the animal, and the door stay’s open. Annie got used to the crate in no time, the door stayed open when she had supervision, but closed when she slept. Today that crate is her private space, and the door is never closed. For sleeping, or when feeling unwell, she goes to her crate.

Occasionally we have people come over to visit, and they are often surprised that we have a large crate. Most of the time, they asked why such a sweet dog needs to be locked up? My answer is, it is her Condo, it’s her space. The door is always open. After Annie inspected all the visitors and settles down, she often goes to her crate.

Why crate training is beneficial

Training Your puppy to become comfortable with a crate is beneficial. There are many situations where pets might have to be in a crate. Air Travel, staying in rooms, after Surgery, some dog boarding companies require pets to be crate trained. I try to avoid situations like that. Pending on where You live, you may not have many options.

A pet used to a crate will experience less stress in the mentioned situations.

What size crate is right for a Boxer?

Full-grown Boxer can get rather large. Annie was not the biggest puppy of the litter, yet she is taller and bulkier than many males we meet. Boxers need an XL sized crate, and it should be big enough for a fully grown Boxer to stand up straight and not touch the crate with its head. It also should be wide enough to turn around in the crate without touching the sides.

You can get some more details regarding create on my crate review page.

Mat for the crate

Have You ever noticed how many dogs have patches without fur on knee and hip? That comes from lying on hard surfaces. I don’t want to see such spots on my dog. For that reason, I got a mat that fits nicely in the crate, so Annie has a soft surface. The mat should be waterproof or at least have a washable cover. Considering the weight of a grown boxer, I would recommend a 2 to 3 inches thick mat.

Find the right spot for the crate

Position it in an area where the dog can observe everything that goes on in high traffic areas. With Annie, I noticed she likes to see the entrance. Please don’t put it in a closet or a closed room.

Puppy collar and leash

We had bought a puppy leash and collar. Knowing that these items get quickly outgrown, there is no need to spend a lot of money.

Pet insurance

Before, You even have the puppy home would be an excellent time to consider pet insurance. There are two types of insurance, liability insurance and pet health insurance.

Liability insurance can cover You when Your dog is doing something that causes damage. Of course, You still must have followed all rules and regulations, and be a responsible owner, but accidents can happen. For me, the one thing that concerned me was what if Annie runs across the street where we live and causes an accident. We had already experienced one instance where a collar failed, and Annie got loose. Luckily nothing happened.

Pet health insurance covers some or all vet bills. There is a lot of variety. Make sure you don’t just look at cost but also what it’s included for the amount You pay.

Scented none stuffed Toy

In Preparation to pick up Annie from the breeder, my wife bought a none stuffed bunny toy and blanket.

Dog Food

Ask the breeder what brand and kind of food they give the puppy. Buy some of the same food the puppy had at the breeder. You may want to change the food at a later point. A great dog food rating resource is, where You can check how the food You give Your puppy is rated. Some pet shops like Global Pets, as an example, provide samples of dog food if asked. So you can try some samples and see if the dog likes it and tolerates it.

Doggy bags

Puppies have to go out about every 1 to 2 hours. You will need a lot of Doggy bags. In the beginning, I just bought them at the pet shop. They tend to come packaged in small quantities, and I found them costly when purchased at pet shops. I bought them in larger quantities online. After all, they don’t expire, plus You can save a lot of money.

How to put it all together

Now comes the part on how to make use of most of the items mentioned above.

At the breeders, we placed the blanket and bunny in the puppy playpen. To play with the two items to leave their scent on them. We also had the mother play with the bunny and blanket. That way, Annie would have the smell of the mother and her siblings, something that would give her comfort, and reduce separation anxiety.

On our drive home, Annie only whined for about 15 minutes in the car. She then settled in a box with the blanket on the bottom and the bunny beside her.

Annie slept in the closed crate with the scented blanket and bunny without whining that night.

How to get a puppy to like the crate

Never force a puppy or a grown dog into a crate. Best results come with the puppy having fun, maybe throw some treat in the middle of the crate, let the puppy get it and come out. With Annie, the scented bunny did the trick. We threw it in the crate, and she would drag it back out. Later, closing the door only for a few seconds with Annie in it. Then open it again. Try to make it as much fun as possible. If it’s a good experience for the puppy, it will want more of it. Boxers can be very stubborn; the best thing to do with a stubborn Boxer is to make a game of the situation.

Another approach is to leave the door open, don’t focus on the crate. Eventually, curiosity will get the puppy to go in. Don’t interrupt the exploration, and see how it goes. Later place some treats in the middle of the crate. Be patient. It is much easier to do this with a puppy than a fully grown dog.

One the second day with Annie, I used the collar and leash to play with her. Puppies love to play; its the perfect way to learn and to engage. After the fun, I put the collar on her and went for a walk. There was only a slight attempt made to remove the collar, and She adjusted quickly.

There is another helpful article related to crate training. It is called Finding a Quality Crate and Mat. And it reflects on what a crate is and why it is important to crate train a dog.

Basic Puppy Training

Once that cute puppy is home it also needs to be trained. Basic puppy training is very important because puppies learn very quickly. Young puppies tend to bite and chew on things. So it is essential to do basic puppy training. One of my recent posts called Basic Puppy training – How to, might of interest as well.


It is easy to reduce the stress on the puppy and You by just doing some simple tasks upfront. Spend more time with that newfound joy, play and get to know one another. And having peace of mind that one at least considered the things mentioned above goes a long way. I have to thank my wife for many of those great ideas and amazing results. Alone I would never have thought of those tips because of lack of experience.

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