KissMe Kennels Miniature American Shepherds

New Puppy?

Here are some of my favorite things and some things to help you get started...

NOTE: Some of the links below are to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This doesn't cost you any extra, and I spend my vast earnings (just kidding) on puppy toys!

Health Stuff - I follow the UC Davis VMTH Vaccination Guidelines. Puppies will have had age-appropriate vaccination(s), deworming, a physical, and an eye exam, before they go home.

Training Stuff -

How to have a Perfect Puppy in 7 Days!

Watch some puppy raising videos!

A crate is wonderful for short-term confinement, sleeping in, or crate training, although you will probably find that your KissMe Kennel puppy is pretty much already housebroken. Since my puppies live with other adult dogs with free access to the outdoors after about 4 weeks old, they learn from the older dogs to do their business outside. There are a couple of options:

A wire cage is nice because it easily folds down flat like a suitcase. You can always cover it with some fleece to make it more den-like. I recommend the 36" size. This one comes with a divider if needed for potty training purposes.

Another very useful item is the exercise pen (also known as an x-pen) - a portable exercise pen. For a puppy I sometimes attach the x-pen to the crate and leave the crate door open. It gives them more room and they use the crate as a dog house. It is like a mini dog yard and house inside your house. Get one that is 36 inches tall. Of course they will be able to jump out of this when they are grown, but they usually won't.

If you are going to travel with your dog by air, then you will need an airline approved kennel. I find the 36"long size to be perfect, but one size smaller will also be fine. Tip for making your puppy LOVE their crate - feed them their meals in the crate!

I am currently feeding Kirkland Signature™ Super Premium Adult Dog kibble, available at Costco. You can switch your puppy to a different food if you want to. Look up different brands on the Dog Food Advisor. If you are going to switch, mix the two kibbles for a few days to avoid tummy troubles. Just let me know when you pick your puppy up and I will give you some of my kibble.

Here is my absolute favorite dog bed - Kuranda - it is literally chewproof!! You can get lots of easily washed comfy toppers for it too.

They love fleece. A big piece of fleece from the fabric store is much cheaper than a pillow bed, easily washed, and easily replaced. Since fleece does not ravel, it lasts a long time even when they chew it. I order my fleece online from When it starts looking kind of ratty, I cut it into strips, braid the strips, and tie knots in it, and it makes a great pull toy.

The best food and water dishes are made of stainless steel.

A slip lead is the best kind of leash. I don't like to use a leash attached to a collar because they can sometimes slip out of the collar. To teach them to walk on a leash, I start by putting it on and just following them around. I gradually start getting them to follow a pull. I use lots of treats. They learn fast! Once you have some basic leash training done, and maybe a few commands, a lightweight long line is a great training tool - use with a slip collar. I do not leave collars on my dogs all the time. It is possible for them to get strangled by one. Instead, get your puppy microchipped! I'll put a collar with tags on if we are going somewhere.

Basic grooming tools include an undercoat rake, a pin brush, a slicker brush, and nail clippers. Ivory Liquid is what I use for shampoo for routine grooming. It is inexpensive, gentle on the coat, and leaves them smelling clean! For daily brushing. this leave-in spray is awesome!!

The Kong that you can stuff with treats is great for keeping them occupied when they have to be confined. There are many choices for food puzzle toys. A lot of times I just put the regular kibble in them. Knuckle bones (I get the giant one) are also highly valued by dogs and puppies alike! They have the added benefit of helping keep their teeth clean. Lots of chew toys, pull toys, etc. This site has some awesome training toys! Cheese sticks are great for training treats, as are the soft liver treats you can get at the pet store. Cut up hot dogs work nicely too.