Getting Ready for Your New Puppy

We recommend that you not begin making dog-related purchases until you find out whether we can match a puppy with you.  That determination will be made after the litter has been evaluated for conformation and temperament at about seven weeks of age.

Basic Gear

  • Collar
    Sizes vary from brand to brand.  Normally we recommend getting a medium as PWD puppies will quickly outgrow a small.  BUT, if the medium in the brand you like runs large compared to other brands, get a small.
  • Leash (six-foot)
  • Stainless steel non-tip wide based bowls for food and water. We like the ones that have a rubber non-slip edge.
  • Safety restraint for traveling in the car.


We consider this to be a mandatory purchase.  Read our crate / crate training Q&A.

Pet Poison First Aid Kit


PWDs love to chew, so you will want to have things that are OK for them to chew (versus your shoes or your furniture!). Since they are powerful chewers, you will need to keep a close eye on their chews and their toys.

We recommend Kongs, Nylabone Dura Chews (watch for deterioration), fresh natural bones (raw marrow or knuckle bone from the butcher), and moose antlers.

We do NOT recommend Rawhide, Pigs Ears, Cow Hooves, or Greenies - as they often cause gastric irritation. Worse, they tend to break off in large chunks and are known to have caused internal obstructions and lacerations - some fatal. Read more...

Words of caution:
If a chew begins to deteriorate (chunks fall off, etc.), throw it away. If you have a PWD that is especially hard on chews, please monitor them when they have a chew. If your dog swallows a large chunk of a chew there is a potential for internal blockage - which can be fatal if not treated.


PWDs are generally hard on toys. Since we have multiple PWDs, the toys in our house take a lot of abuse!

You will want to look for toys that indicate they are made tough. We suggest Kong toys, Invicibles squeaker snakes, and toys that do not have stuffing. We've also had good luck with several of the Fat Cat toys as well as goDog toys with chew guard.

Words of caution:
All play with dog toys should be supervised. If a toy begins to deteriorate (pieces come off, stuffing comes out, etc.), throw it away. If it looks at all dangerous or you have any reservations, take it away and don't buy any more of that particular toy. With the exception of food and medicine, there are NO safety regulations for pet products - the industry regulates itself.

Grooming Items

PWDs require extensive grooming. We recommend that you purchase the following, at a minimum:
  • Metal comb -
    We cannot stress this item enough! A metal comb is the only thing that will truly get all of the tangles out!
    We suggest that you get two - one with a medium/coarse combination of tine spacing and one with fine.
  • Pin and/or slicker brush
  • Nail clippers
  • Styptic powder or pencil (for those times you accidentally cut the quick and it bleeds)
  • Dog shampoo and conditioner
  • Dental Care Kit
  • Ear cleaning solution (you can also make your own by mixing 2 parts white vinegar with 1 part rubbing alcohol in a squeeze bottle)
Other grooming products to consider:
  • Forced air dryer (such as those made by Double K)
  • Grooming scissors
  • Two-speed dog clippers
  • Electric nail grinder
  • Grooming table with an adjustable grooming arm
  • Dog grooming apron


  • Exercise Pen - This product comes with panels connected together accordion style, and usually extension panels are available to increase the size. It is used to provide a safe area in your home for your puppy when you are unable to supervise them.
  • Safety Gate - If there is an area of your home that you do not want your puppy to get to, then use a baby safety gate in the doorway.
  • Training Treats - Some type of small, soft treats are good to have for training purposes.



We recommend that you buy a large breed puppy kibble that has meat as the first ingredient listed. Avoid grain-based kibbles. The Dog Food Advisor web site has reviews of dog food that you may find helpful:

By their genetic pedigree, dogs are carnivores (meat-eaters), not herbivores (plant-eaters). But they are often considered omnivores, because they do have a significant omnivorous ability. Dogs can survive on a diet of either plant or animal origin if it is balanced and diverse. But to thrive, dogs should have a source of animal protein - MEAT - in their diets. There is a huge difference between survive and thrive!

Dogs need meat! They thrive on meat-based diets (but NOT an ALL meat diet). Dogs can and do assimilate grains, but grains provide mostly carbohydrates and only limited amino acid (protein) profiles. Extra carbohydrate intake, above the immediate needs of the dog (which occurs often with grain-based diets) prompts internal enzyme factors to store that extra carbohydrate (sugar) as fat.

Note: We will give you a small bag of the kibble that we have been feeding the puppies. That way you can transition your puppy to the kibble of your choice.


As important as it is to feed your dog the correct ingredients, it is also important to feed your dog the correct amount. We will provide feeding guidelines in the puppy book you will receive when you get your puppy. But please remember that these are only guidelines and you will need to adjust your puppy's diet according to his/her needs.

If you are in doubt as to whether your dog is the correct weight, check with your veterinarian.

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