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Living that #PuppyLIFE: Essentials

For Working & Pet Dogs

(please note: this post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

So you got a new puppy, huh? Now what? You're probably already thinking "What in the hell....have I done?". Let me tell you what you've done. You have chosen a new best friend; another being to share your life with you who doesn't complain about your quirky habits or your dirty clothes on the floor. True, he/she may chew them but you can bet your bottom dollar they're going to enjoy it. Most dogs only desire to live their lives doing what makes you happy. However, it is up to you to teach them what it is that makes you happy. This involves communication. As you know, our canine companions simply do not communicate in the same ways that we do. Does that mean that communication is impossible. Absolutely not. Therefore, I want to share with a few tools on the market that will help you, if used properly, to communicate in such a way that your new puppy can understand what you asking of them. These tools are the very tools that you will find amongst my messy ass garage, still in brand new packaging, waiting for the next new dog to come through. No matter the age, the breed, the size, the skill these items our stop numero uno.

  1. Drop the cheap pet store puppy collar. The plastic buckle is trash. The material will start to stink. Believe me, the only thing it has to offer you is a loose dog when that plastic buckle breaks. I prefer a leather-style martingale collar like this one by Mighty Paw. It is made with real leather and a stainless steel chain Martingale mechanism. Also, instead of a plastic buckle this collar features a stainless steel buckle situation (think belt buckle) that keeps you from worrying about any break down of the collar what-so-ever. This collar is super comfy and, therefore, appropriate for 24/7 wear. Once this goes on upon arrival at the Braun house it does not come off.

*Bonus Tip: If you have adventurous pups who are constantly losing tags you can us a permanent marker to directly write on the collar to be sure contact info is always accessible.*

2. The "dreaded" prong collar. (Cue *eye roll*) Yes, I said it. Listen, I won't go into the whole case argument in this thread. There certainly is a right way and wrong way to go about a prong collar. I would love to get rid of the ugly stigma that comes with it, but until EVERYONE starts using is the right way and educating themselves, that's just not gonna happen. However, if you've ever been walking behind a 60, 70, 80+LB beast of dog who sees a cat run across the street.....well then, you should already be pro-prong. It evens the playing field in order to give you a fighting chance against road rash from asphalt pavement. If all you use this tool for is pleasant walking that is FINE. Diving deeper into the healthy uses of a prong is for another time and another place. And, when you talk prong you only talk one brand and one size and that is the Herm Sprenger 2.25 MM. I would go with the 16-link size no matter if your dog is smaller. That is because you can take links out and keep them for back up as your dog grows or as necessary. Now, if you're kinda boujee like me and your dog can pull it off, Herm Sprenger also has a "curogan" colored one that is a rose-gold color. I love it on my 90LB Cane Corso. You can find that one here.

*Did you know? The prong collar is made to simulate a mother's teeth as a correction. Also, the prong is less painful than a slip lead or tight tension on the trachea from a flat collar. Give it a try on your own wrist!*

3. Now you're thinking your new puppy has plenty of bling on the neck at this point. But, we are going to add one more thing to the neck: an e-collar. WAIT! Before you go freaking out on me hear me out. I'm not here to push e-collar usage on you, however I tell people all the time: better to have a command on the dog and not need it than to need the command and not have it on the dog. That is the same thing with the e-collar. Puppyhood is THE best time to get your dog used to anything and everything and that includes getting used to the feel of any equipment he/she may need or see in his life. If you already have an e-collar, then you're set. If you don't and you are adamant you are not going to use it, then you can skip this section. Personally, I recently switched over to a bungee style replacement for the sheer fact of being able to just slide it over the dog's head, tighten, and go. The Full Grip Supply brand has more color options, but if you're in a time pinch these Sparky Pet ones are available with prime delivery. Your band width will be depending on what e-collar you're using.

4. Moving on to what connects you to all your dog's fancy new equipment: the leash. While I'm a sucker for a nice leather leash I also like to be honest. They need some maintenance and there is not a lot of color options. Most of my working dog gear is color-coded since I work multiple dogs. My dogs also put my leashes through some absolute nastiness. Therefore, biothane is the name of the game. Biothane leashes can take anything, require zero maintenance, stink-proof, weatherproof, washable, and when I get in a pinch I can get some good grip without tearing up my hands. I won't nit-pick the hardware in this post, but always go for a ring on your end of the leash. It provides sound giveaway and somewhere to clip the other end of your leash or any other accessories you carry on your adventures. This is what I'm currently using as we speak.

5. The last, but certainly not least #puppyLife basic tool you're going to need is a treat pouch. There are a couple different ones that I use and they are both great. Quick option of course is the PetSafe brand available here with minimal options. The second boujee option you can find over at It does not come with a waistband belt option, but you can purchase that separately if you would like. They have patch decals and even custom nameplates you can purchase to go with it. Lots of customizable options! My favorite one is when they did the limited edition color: royal blue (which is now a standard color!) and a "The Goods" nameplate in fluorescent green. Either options have strong magnets and plenty of room.......

Are you still sitting here? What are you waiting for?! Go grab your goods and get out there!

*Bonus Tip: Use Ziploc bags to keep the inside clean and be able to swiftly change out treat types.*



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