Our recommendations for puppy & dog supplies
When welcoming a new puppy in your home and family is an exciting time. But it can be overwhelming to figure out what you may need to get to have a successful puppy introduction to your house and family. Below is a list of supplies. Most of these are affiliate links (when you click on these and add them to your cart, and we may earn a commission) and a couple are links not available on Amazon. We chose amazon as it is the most accessible across the US.
Even if you plan on sleeping with your puppy in your bed, having a crate is still important. Anytime your dog needs to be boarded, or stay at the vet, or groomed (or insert many situations), they will encounter a crate or need to be in a crate. If your dog is unfamiliar with crates, this could be very stressful or even harmful to your dog. Your best case scenario is to crate train your puppy.
There are many methods to crate train your puppy such as, sleeping with the crate right next to the bed and resting your hand on the crate when your puppy starts to whine. Or the method of putting the crate across the house in the kitchen or laundry room and setting an alarm to get up to take the puppy potty. Or all the methods in-between. Do what is right for your family and the puppy. Generally, it will only take a couple weeks to crate train your pup, but that gives you the peace of mind when you need to leave the house and crate a still teething (and chewing-on-everything) puppy.
You can also find this at Fleet Farm (for those who live in the Midwest)
Dog Crate Bed
Wirehaired Vizslas (like many breeds) love soft things to lay on. This is a durable crate bed that is easily washable and can withstand puppy teeth.
K9 Ballistics brand also has a crate bed that is very durable and warranty guaranteeing it cannot be destroyed otherwise they will replace it. (Link Below) This one is twice the price of the amazon linked crate bed. We have both and neither has been chewed to destruction.
Here are two options: regular stainless steel bowls and an elevated set. Elevated bowls can prevent sliding or stop paddling out the water in bowls. Elevated bowls can alleviate neck strain or arthritis as well, there are no studies that support or deny elevated bowls preventing bloat. So, it is truly personal preference.
We started with one dog on the nail clipper but found the dremel to be more useful and easier to use when keeping the nails on our dogs a healthy length. We use a different dremel model only because we also use the dremel for household projects.
Any nail tool you use, you need to desensitize your puppy to it. The first 6 months, you should be playing with your puppies feet ALOT - feeling its paws, its pads, lightly pressing or tugging on their nails. (same with ears, mouth, and tail!). We still "inspect" our dogs feet, ears, mouth, tail, belly, really any body part as we want them to be conditioned to it for vet visits and showing.
Whatever tool you use, when you do eats, leave it right next to the bowl. Then start playing with pups feet while they eat. If you use a dremel, start turning it on when they are eating and eventually have it running next to their feet while they eat (this sometimes needs to be built up by starting farther away and gradually coming closer).
click on title above to go to Amazon
click on title above to go to Amazon
Leash and Collar
We use smooth leather slip collars on our dogs for everyday life. The double rings allow you to clip your leash so it is either a slip or a loose collar. When you take your puppy home, the best way to keep track of your pup and for it to learn to pay attention to you is to keep it on leash in the house. Attach the pup to you and start the learning process of your puppy needing to watch you for direction. This establishes an important relationship! (more to come on this in another blog post!)
We also like the over the shoulder, hands-free leash for everyday life, vet visits, and hunting. We get the most use out of it when hunting.
Over the shoulder leash above (see link left for website).
There are so many toy choices! These dogs love fetch and playing. There are a variety of balls and toys you can get - have fun picking them out! Below are some of the suggestions for puppies and some chews for adult dogs.
This is a really popular choice with all our puppy families. This stuffy can comfort a puppy at night in it's new crate and we have heard it really does help!
Puppy Teething Toys
Here are some of our favorite puppy teething toys. Always have toys and chews handy when teething starts. We will sometimes buy extra, so if we can't get out for our daily walk or have family coming over and need to keep a pup occupied, we can just pull out a special toy. Dogs and puppies can get bored with the same toys over and over. Keep it new and fresh if you need to distract them.
Great Toy Suggestions
Here are some of our favorites!
Hunting training aids
A plain canvas bumper is a great way to start your fetch training with your new pup or even an older dog. You can also buy some pheasant wings; once your pup reliably fetches the bumper to you, you can start tying some wings around the bumper. Start with one wing and work up with more. This helps gets your pup used to feathers in their mouths. The large rabbit bumper is good for getting them the feel of fur in their mouth and if you plan on doing any tracking training, this is a great tool! The pheasant bumper is larger and gets your dog used to holding larger and heavier things in their mouth.
These are training tools, only get these out for training sessions and not everyday play!
This double sided whistle is a great tool in the field. The high pitched side, we use a double blow (short, long) as a come and a short blow as a directional command and then the ball whistle side is a stop command. All of these commands can be taught in your yard!
This is a great training too, even for those not planning on hunting. Great to helping puppies to come, and young dogs that will come but not come directly to you. Also useful for hunting training for woah or backing. Endless possibilities with this tool!
We prefer the wider, flat silicone type cord versus the rope or other material. We also strongly recommend NOT getting one with a hand loop as this gets caught on vegetation when they are running in a field. The silicone is easy to clean and doesn't tangle as easy.
Wirehairs coat naturally has oils. These help give it the protective layer that helps water roll or and keep debris at bay (of a groomed wire coat). Rarely do these dogs need a bath or shower. With all our dogs in the house, we typically go months without giving baths. This shampoo helps keep the natural oils and texture of your wirehair. Yes, its a bit pricey but when you need 3 or 4 baths a year, it lasts!
WHV have floppy ears and should be checked regularly (weekly at minimum). If we notice anything starting we gently wipe our dogs ears with these wipes. If there is something more serious starting, DO NOT use a q-tip on your dogs ears. Get a medicated liquid to drop in, gently rub and use these wipes or soft cotton wipe to clean excess liquid from the exterior of the ear.
This is a must! This helps stop small wounds from bleeding by helping them clot. If you clip a nail too short or your dog shakes its head and catches its ear on something, you can sprinkler this on to stem the bleeding. Very helpful for those little scratches that bleed profusely. This will not work on wounds that require a vets attention, nor should it be used on those wounds,
Franklin Stripping Knives
Why is this under the Health section? A wires coat when properly maintained protects their skin and keeps out the water, dirt, and debris. The dead, soft wirehair can trap these against the skin causing infections. Check out an an early blog post dedicated entirely to topic!
Furminator is a commercial stripper that comes in different sizes. This typically works on the main body of the dog but isn't the best for their legs, chest, and head.
Franklin Stripping Knives (all our puppy owners receive these when picking up your pup). Are the best all-around stripping knives we have tried.
Also helpful are the swingline finger tips to hand strip those dead wires out.
See early blog post on how to fully use all these tools and more!
Paw Protection - Musher's Wax
We live where it get cold...really cold. When our winter days hit 0 and below (most of winter), walks can be tough on our dogs feet. We put this on our dogs pads and work it up between their toes. It helps with pad cracking and stopping those balls of ice/snow morning between their pads.
Additives to Dogs Food
There are many additives you can mix into with your dogs food. In fact, there is a very good book below (Forever Dog) that gives you the science behind what is good and why. If you had to get one item right now, we would suggest Salmon Oil. It is full of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and great for heart and immune health, skin and coat health, along with anti-inflammatory properties. This one is more expensive than some alternatives, but has better quality ingredients.
There will be a blog post coming soon entirely dedicated to dog food and health!
Bitter Apple Spray
This was the only item I wasn't sure how to categorize! This is an spray that tastes really bad to dogs (usually). You can spray this on furniture, shoes, curtains, anything your teething pup keeps chewing on when they shouldn't. This does work most of the time. We have had one puppy that didn't seem to care if it was on anything, but all our other pups, this was magical! You can also find this at most dog supply stores.
Here is a selection of books we suggest. As with everything, there are steps/actions/philosophy's we do and don't agree with. Please take all these books with a grain of salt and with an understand that a wirehaired vizsla is it's own unique breed. This is a good starting point to figuring out how you want to train your dog.
Monks of New Skete - How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend
This is a great book that has great training and obedience guides. This also addresses building a relationship and philosophy of understanding your dog better. This is based on the Monks of New Skete's successful program they have built with German Shepherds but translates well with other breeds.
Monks of New Skete: The Art of Raising a Puppy
Another excellent book from the Monks. This one focuses on rearing a well adjusted dog from puppyhood. This is great for beginners and experts alike!
The Forever Dog
This is the most comprehensive health book we have read to date. It address the science behind longevity and health issues that can arise in dog. It all comes back to what you can have an influence on - your dogs diet. We have applied what we have learned to our own dogs and puppies. If you read one dog health book, this should be the one.
How to Help Gun Dogs Train Themselves
This is an easy and digestible read that has hunting (obedience training tips starting when you bring the pup home). This is an excellent book that offers how training in your home relates to and translate to the field. It does have pictures and is a bit of an older book but hits every point you need.
Speed Train Your Own Bird Dog
This is an good guide that gives you a different philosophy than the book above. Parts of the training do bring up many tools professional trainers use that may not be feasible for an everyday owner. However, there are different ways to train that work for different dogs. This is the book I usually go to when I need to troubleshoot a training or behavior issue I need help with.