Essential Doberman Pinscher Puppy Equipment

Equipment You should have before bringing Home a Puppy

Before bringing home a Doberman puppy, it is wise to already have the essential support equipment.

Kennels and Kenneling

For the first few months of a Doberman’s life, he will spend all of his unsupervised time inside his kennel. This is natural for a puppy. The kennel acts much like a den would to a wild puppy. The puppy will feel safe in his kennel and will likely go there when he feels sleepy or scared.

The kennel should be high quality and designed for convenient use, safety, and cleanliness. It should also be of a size comfortable for the full grown Doberman, with a height of 32” to 35” and a length of 42” to 48”.

House training can be assisted by a properly sized kennel. A puppy will avoid messing in his bed so if his kennel offers only minimal space; just enough to stand, turn around, and lay down, he will be encouraged to wait until potty time. Rather than purchasing successively larger kennels, the puppy owner can simply place a cardboard box or other similar item inside the kennel to take up the extra space until the puppy grows. Alternatively, there are kennels designed with a divider that can be set incrementally, allowing only the needed space for the puppy.

Dog Beds

Inside this kennel should be a warm, comfortable and clean dog bed. This means the puppy owner should have at least two dog beds in order to alternate them through the wash. A dog bed for a new Doberman puppy can be as simple as an old blanket. Teething puppies often will damage their bed and the leaky nature of puppies makes washability of his bed paramount.

Care should be taken when selecting a dog bed for your new Doberman puppy. Old electric blankets are a bad idea. The copper wire inside is toxic to the Doberman and is a choke and strangle hazard. Damaged blankets are also hazardous. Holes and loose pieces can tangle a puppy.

Stuffed beds for a young puppy will almost certainly be destroyed within a few joyful minutes. Much of this destruction will subside with maturity and training. The essential element of training away from destruction is providing plenty of bones and chew toys.

Bones and Chew Toys

The Doberman puppy owner’s best friends are bones and chew toys. The Doberman puppy will chew on something, so it’s wise to consistently make available a variety of interesting puppy-safe chew items.

These bones and chew toys should be inspected regularly and discarded when they become small enough to fit whole in the puppy’s mouth or otherwise become worn. Remember, the anguish and expense of a trip to the veterinarian to deal with a gastrointestinal obstruction could otherwise purchase hundreds of bones and chew toys. Buy them by the armload and when in doubt throw it out.

Food and Water Bowls

I prefer stainless steel food and water bowls. They are easy to keep sanitary, do not invite chewing, and are not easily damaged.

Your Doberman puppy should consistently have available fresh water. Never deny water in an attempt to extend time between potty breaks. Keeping water in the kennel with a new puppy can become a disaster so it may be better at first to allow the puppy to drink during potty breaks and keep bowls out of the kennel.

Feeding should occur two or three times per day for a Doberman puppy. To prevent digestive problems it is wise to soak the puppy’s food in warm water, allowing it to expand before the puppy eats it. After feeding, the food bowl should be removed. Puppies have a tendency to play in their empty food bowl or even sleep with body parts resting inside. This allows food material and oils to get on the puppy which promote bacterial growth and results in puppy acne.

Spill-proof bowls are great for puppies. These bowls are designed with outwardly sloping sides which prevent the puppy from nosing over the bowl or stepping on the rim causing it to overturn. These bowls also have a rubber ring around the bottom to prevent slipping. In my experience, this ring gets chewed and is difficult to sanitize without removal. I remove this unessential part and pitch it.

Collar and Lead

To prevent lead shyness, it’s a good idea to introduce the puppy to a collar and lead right away. Puppies tend to follow their owners around anyway so adding this item is usually easy with young puppies.

If a collar is continually left on a Doberman puppy it should be inspected daily for proper fit. A loose collar is dangerous and too tight is harmful. With the Doberman’s fast rate of growth, an adjustable collar is almost essential. For obedience training, a choke (pinch) collar or pronged choke collar is often required with the Doberman. When used properly, these devices are not harmful. No form of choke collar should ever be left on a dog unsupervised.

If you plan on doing any obedience training, and if you plan on having a Doberman puppy you should, it’s a good investment to purchase a good leather lead. I have found that the nylon leads are rough on the handler’s hands. Leather leads are attractive, comfortable, and easy to use. Most obedience classes suggest or require them. Just keep an eye out for any sneaky puppy chewing.