This page details items needed and training tips for your new puppy!
Food - EUKANUBA® brand, dry dog food (LARGE BREED PUPPY). Feed am and pm. The puppy will determine the amount of food he needs. There should be food left in his bowl when he has finished eating. We prefer feeding free choice to puppies as they grow. Don't limit their amount of food. If you limit their food, you limit their growth. Puppies need "large breed puppy" food to balance their growth. Some heavy/large puppies may have a "bowed leg" appearance as they grow. The "large breed puppy" food will help balance bone growth in the early months of life. "Large breed puppy" should be fed until 2 years of age.
Crate - Black wire training crate. Size 42L x 27W x 30H, up to 90 pounds for females. May consider the next larger size for males. The crate we recommend is collapsible with 2 doors and a slide out bottom tray for easy cleaning. This crate also has a divider panel that can be used to fit the crate to your puppy as they grow. The divider panel should be adjusted so the puppy can stand and turn around. If the crate is too large and used without the divider panel, then the puppy will be more likely to soil the crate during house training. Puppies can stay in their crate up to 1.5 hrs per month of age between potty breaks. Crate time should be 3-4 hrs maximum in the beginning. If your puppy is shipped, then a plastic/airline approved crate that fits the current size of your puppy, will be included.
Newspapers - Your puppy is paper trained. Place sheets of newspapers by the exit door for potty breaks. Play with your puppy near the door/papers in the first few days. Your puppy should circle and sniff the floor/papers when they need to potty. Let them potty on the paper or take them outside to potty. Praise the puppy A LOT when he goes potty on the papers or outside. Watch your puppy 100% of the time when he is outside of his crate until he figures out your potty place and you figure out his schedule. Place your puppy in his crate with a toy if you need to walk away for even a minute. Avoid accidents that start bad habits.
Urine Cleaner - If potty accidents occur, then clean thoroughly with urine cleaner or the puppy will smell the spot and re-soil the same area.
Shampoo, Conditioner, and Spray - D & L Dobermans® brand products are available on our website. We highly recommend these products. We developed these product because they are wonderful for dobies. Dobermans have very sensitive skin especially as puppies. RINSE SHAMPOO EXTREMELY WELL when bathing your puppy. Monthly bathing should be sufficient unless your puppy finds some mud or something while playing outside. Always use conditioner when bathing your puppy. Refreshing body spray can be used between baths.
Ear Cleansing Solution - D & L Dobermans® brand solution is available on our website. We highly recommend this product to keep your puppies ears clean, fresh and healthy.
Omega 3 Caplets - D & L Dobermans® brand caplets are available on our website. We highly recommend this product to keep your dobies skin and hair coat in tip top condition. The caplets will make your doberman's hair glisten and will decrease dry skin and flaking.
Tampons - EQUATE® brand, "regular" cardboard tampons for ear posting, or poly foam caulk saver 5/8"x20' roll (can be found at Home Depot).
Ear braces - 4" wooden craft sticks.
Tape - COACH® brand, Johnson & Johnson cloth athletic tape. 1.5 inches wide. NEVER USE WATERPROOF TAPE for ear posting.
Gauze - size 4"x4" gauze for ear posting and protecting raw ear edges/irritations from tape as needed.
Leash and collar - 10"-14" adjustable nylon collar works great for puppies since they grow so quickly.
Soft brush or wet cloth/wipes for grooming
Pad or blankets for crate use that are easily washed. Don't spend a lot of money yet on a bed for the crate since they tend to chew on them frequently.
Chew toys to alternate and avoid boredom. Kong toys filled with peanut butter are great toys for the crate.
IMPORTANT NOTE: PUPPIES ARE NOT PROTECTED FROM THE PARVO VIRUS UNTIL THEIR FINAL (FOURTH) SET OF VACCINATIONS AT 15 WEEKS OF AGE. PLEASE TREAT YOUR PUPPY AS A BABY AND AVOID UNNECESSARY CONTACT WITH OTHER DOGS AND PUBLIC AREAS. PARVO VIRUS IS DEADLY. IF YOUR PUPPY EXHIBITS BOTH VOMITING AND DIARRHEA, THEN TAKE YOUR PUPPY TO THE VET IMMEDIATELY!!! WE ALSO RECOMMEND CARRYING YOUR PUPPY (UP OFF THE FLOOR) WHEN TAKING YOUR PUPPY TO THE VET FOR THEIR 9&12 WEEK VACCINATIONS.
The first ten days with your puppy are the most important days for training your puppy. In this time, he will learn most of the rules of your household or the pack as your puppy sees you. Whatever you don't want the puppy to do when he is full grown, then do not let him do it now. The most important commands you can teach are SIT, NO and GOOD. CONSISTENCY IS KEY!!
HOUSE-TRAINING - Housebreaking can be one of the most time consuming aspects of training your dog, but its rewards will be valued by you and your family for the rest of the dog's days as a member of your household. Sure, it takes a few weeks of your time and a lot of patience to house-train any dog, because even the smartest puppy will make mistakes, but it's better than cleaning up and stepping in messes for years. It will help to remember that your dog really wants to be clean, because canines and wolves are naturally clean animals. Puppies usually have to go potty after sleeping, eating drinking and playing. CONFINEMENT is the first rule of house-training. Carried out properly, your dog won't mind being locked up for a spell. A lot of you are probably shuddering right now at the prospect of cooping up your dog, but keep in mind that there is a difference between confinement and incarceration. You're not putting your dog in jail, you're just making it easier for him to become house-trained. Dogs are by natural instinct, den animals. In the wild, dogs and wolves sleep, give birth and raise puppies in dens. From the day they are born, puppies learn not to eliminate in the den. For the first three or four weeks of life, their mother licks away their elimination. Thereafter, she makes it perfectly clear that soiling the den is a no-no and that elimination is to be done outside. Mistakes (young pups make plenty of them) are corrected with a quick shake and a growl, and a smart pup will learn quickly not to "go in the den". Confining your pet is akin to the dog living in a den and it successfully taps into your dog's natural instincts. Most dogs will not soil their den, the immediate area where they sleep, making the whole house-training process easier and less stressful. There are several ways to confine your dog. One way is to use a baby gate or pet gate to enclose a laundry room or small bathroom. Another option is CRATE TRAINING. A crate serves as a den for your puppy. It should be just big enough for the dog to stand up in and turn around comfortably but small enough so the animal can't sleep in one end and eliminate in the other. If you are crating your dog, and he's using the crate as a toilet, then it is probably too big or he is in the crate too long. Plan to purchase a larger crate that will fit your puppy when full grown and simply block off part of it while the puppy is still small. Using a crate effectively doesn't mean you should lock up your puppy all the time. In fact, a very young puppy shouldn't be left alone in a crate for more than three or four hours. And dogs older than 9 months should not be crated for more than eight hours. If you work or go to school, you should consider confining the puppy with a gate in a bathroom or another area large enough with a bed, food and water dish, and papers for the pup to eliminate on. One word of warning, if you decide to confine your dog, never use his crate as a form of punishment. The puppy should only associate the crate with good things like treats, toys and affection. During the day, keep your puppy's crate in a location that allows easy access and permits her to be part of the family. The laundry room will make a dog feel isolated and unhappy if the puppy can hear people walking around . Place it anywhere the family congregates like in the kitchen or family room. At night, especially when your puppy is still getting used to the crate, the ideal place is in your bedroom, near your bed. Having you nearby will create a feeling of security, and be easier for you as well. If your dog needs to go outside during the night, you can let him out before he has an accident. Your dog will also be comforted by the smell, sight and sound of you, and will be less likely to feel frightened. Introduce your puppy to the crate gradually. You want the pup to feel like this is a pleasant place to be. You may want to teach a command like "CRATE". Let your puppy take time to investigate the crate and come and go freely and don't forget lots of praise. Next offer a meal in the crate. Put the food dish inside and after a while, close the door. Open the door when the puppy is done eating. Keep this up until the puppy eats all meals in the crate. Soon your puppy will be accustomed to going in and out of the crate for treats and meals. If you do not wish to continue feeding in the crate, you can start feeding elsewhere, but continue offering a treat and praise for going into the crate. Start closing the door and leaving the dog inside for a few minutes at a time. Gradually increase the amount of time the pup spends in the crate. Always make sure that you offer a treat and praise for going in. It is a good idea to keep a few favorite toys just for special crate time. If he throws a tantrum, ignore him. Don't let your dog out of the crate until he is quiet and settled. At bedtime, show him an irresistible goodie, tell him to sit and when he does throw the goodie into the crate. When he dives in for the treat, tell him what a good boy he is and close the door. SCHEDULING is the next step in successful house-training. The schedule you set up will be determined by your work habits and sleeping patterns. But keep in mind that a young puppy's needs are different than those of an adult dog, and time wise you won't have as much flexibility until your pet is older. A mature dog develops a greater degree of control over his digestive processes and can "hold it" for longer periods of time. In the wild, the natural order of things is for a young puppy to eat, eliminate, play and sleep. Your schedule should make provisions for the puppy's elimination immediately after his dinner. ELIMINATION is the fourth step on the way to successful house-training. Find a place for your puppy to eliminate, and make sure he has regular access to it. Every time you take your dog out to go potty, repeat a tripper phrase over and over (like "go potty") until he begins to get down to business. Then praise him lavishly. There are several reasons to use a trigger phrase. First, when your dog is in an unfamiliar place and you tell him to "go potty" he will no matter where you are. Secondly, you will be able to train him to go at the beginning of a walk, or go in a hurry when needed. Another secret to successful house-training is to be CONSISTENT. A full week of concentrated house-training is better than a half-hearted month. Follow the schedule, praise your pup lavishly when he goes in the proper place, and your pet will be completely house-trained with a minimum of fuss. But what do you do if despite all your best efforts, that puppy still goes in the house? You say you have tried everything and your patience is running out fast. Just remember that just as every person is not destined to be a brain surgeon, every dog isn't going to be a house-training genius. Some dogs are just slower to learn, are stubborn or they can be ill. Sometimes a dog will eliminate in the house because of human error. CORRECTING your dog when he eliminates in the house is a must and there are right and wrong ways of doing it. Don't hit your puppy or rub his nose in his mistake. Don't call your pup to you to punish him. You will only make him wary of you. Don't punish your puppy for an accident that happened hours earlier, he won't remember something he did that long ago. Don't let your puppy see you clean up his messes. When you must correct your dog, do it firmly but humanely. Carry him or walk him to the site of the accident, give him a slight shake or a slight swat under the chin (like his mom would do) and tell him in a gruff, growly voice, "NO, bad dog". Then walk him to the door and out to the spot where he was suppose to go potty. Leave him out for a while or put him in his crate, so he doesn't see you cleaning up his mess. Sadly, officials at pounds and humane societies report that the number one reason dogs are turned over to them is a problem with house-training. With that in mind, you must correctly house-train your puppy from the very start. Rest assured, your D&L puppy has been kept VERY clean from the start and this should make your house-training experience a little easier!
OBEDIENCE - Dogs are social creatures and are believers in social order. A dog's social system is a "pack" with a well defined pecking order. The leader of the pack is the alpha and he gets the best of everything - the best food, the best place to sleep, the best toy, etc. The leader also gets to be the first in everything. He gets to eat first, to leave first and to get attention first. All the other dogs in the pack respect the alpha dog's wishes. Any dog that challenges the leader's authority gets a swift physical reminder of just where his place is in the pack. Your family is your dog's pack. Many dogs fit easily into the lower levels of the human pack. Some dogs are always looking for ways to get a little closer to the top of the pack. Some families encourage their dog's to take over the "pack" without realizing it. They treat their dogs as equals. They don't train their dogs and they let them get away with disobeying commands. Don't give your dog a command unless you are ready to correct him if he doesn't listen. He will soon realize that when you say it, you mean it. Dogs need and want leaders to follow and worship. They have an instinctive need to fit into a pack and they want security. Your dog watches you constantly and reads your body language. Watch a professional trainer or an obedience instructor. They stand tall and use their voices and eyes to project the idea that they are capable of getting what they want. They are gentle but firm, loving but tough, all at the same time. Dogs recognize and respect alpha when they see it. The most important commands you can teach are SIT, NO and GOOD. Start by telling your puppy to SIT, and then place him in the sit position, then pet him and say GOOD SIT. Repeat this constantly thru the day. Also, you can use a treat to help put him in the sit position. As your dog is facing you (looking at the treat) tell him to SIT and hold the treat close to his nose and move it backward. Once you get the hang of it, he should sit as you move the treat backward and then give him the treat and pet him while saying GOOD SIT. Dogs should sit for everything! Make him sit before petting, before dinner, before going outside, and before getting a toy. Also, whatever you do, DO NOT let you puppy start jumping up on you, your family or visitors. This is a terrible habit. If this has started, quickly and firmly use your foot (for smaller dogs) or your knee (for larger dogs) and make contact with your dogs chest right at the point in time when they jump up. We are not saying to kick your dog. But quickly and firmly surprise your dog by pushing him away fast and firm when he is in mid jump and say "NO". It is important that the entire family understands this and does this consistently. They learn this within a day or two if it is done fast and firm. Kids playing chase with the puppy and allowing the puppy to jump on them is not a good habit. Teach the kids that if the puppy catches them, then make the puppy sit and pet the puppy, then repeat. This is a good technique that allows the kids to play chase but also incorporates training the puppy to sit and not to jump. Everyone should be alpha above the dog. They will learn that jumping is not fun but sitting gets them all kinds of good things. We use the words NO and GOOD constantly when we are with our dogs/puppies. If a puppy chews on their bed (example) then say NO and then show them a toy. Whatever they are doing that you don't like say, NO and show them something that they can do. If you catch them from behind chewing on their bed (example), then say NO and add a swift firm spat on their bottom. Spat them so quickly from behind that they don't know that YOU did it. When they stop, say GOOD puppy and praise them. They will learn very quickly that NO needs to be listened to immediately. If you or anyone in your family wrestles, rough-houses or plays tug of war with your dog, STOP! These games encourage dogs to dominate people physically and to use their teeth. Tug of war makes puppies even more mouthy to people! Your puppy will be as rambunctious as his surroundings/family. Find new games for him to play. Hide and seek, fetch and frisbee catching are more appropriate. You decide when to start and stop the game. Stop playing before the dog gets bored and is inclined to keep the ball or frisbee. Once your new dog has settled into his new home and family, you should take him through an obedience class with a qualified trainer. Obedience class teaches you to train your dog. It teaches you how to be alpha, how to enforce commands and rules, how to get respect and keep it. All family members who are old enough to understand and control the dog should participate in the class. Obedience training is a lifelong process. One obedience course does not a trained dog make! Obedience commands need to be practiced and incorporated into your daily life. A well trained obedient dog is a happy dog and a joy to live with. Dogs want to please and need a job to do. Training gives them the opportunity to do both. A well trained dog has more freedom. He can go more places and do more things because he knows how to behave. A well trained dog that is secure in his place within the family pack is comfortable and confident. He knows what is expected of him. He knows his limits and who his leaders are. He is free to be your loving companion. He is free to be a dog - what he was born to be and what he always wanted to be in the first place.