New Puppy Preparation

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Supply List

1. Crate. we like full sided hard crates and we get a size that will accommodate the maximum expected adult weight. Crates can be divided with official dividers or with blankets/ pillows stuffed in the back half of the crate. 

2. Pad to fit the inside of the crate.  This should be washable!

3.  Training treats.  Training is really important and puppies are easily motivated with food!  We have links to some of our favorite treats below.

4. Chew toys.  You don't need to spend a lot of money on expensive toys--most of them will end up destroyed! Balls or squeaky toys or ropes without frayed ends are all good to keep a puppy busy.  Kongs are rubber toys that can be filled with sticky treats or food to keep a dog busy chewing and to help reduce chewing on inappropriate items. Don't give puppies rawhide--their digestive systems can't process them and they can cause a blockage. Bully sticks are good and we use the often. 

5. Leash and collar. Your puppy will quickly grow out of his first collar so don't spend a lot of money on the first collar you get.  A size 'small' will work for all of the puppies at 8 weeks.  Puppies expected to stay under 20 pounds might need an extra small size collar. We don't love harnesses--they tend to encourage pulling.  Always remember that t leash and collar is nothing more than a safety measure.  You should never ever pull a dog by the collar!  Puppies/dogs should be following the owner not being dragged.  There is more information about teaching a dog to walk politely in the training tips section of the website. 

A regular 5-6 foot flat leash is all you need for your puppy. We do not like retractable leashes--we've seen too many injuries to hands, feet, legs and paws from retractable leashes.  When you start working on recalls at longer distances away from the safety of the back yard, then you may want a 20-30 foot lead or rope but a regular leash is great to start. We like to keep a few leashes from the dollar store around the house and in the car in case of emergencies.  

6.  We keep a few dog beds around the house to help encourage our puppies to sleep in beds and not on furniture.  There is nothing more frustrating than a couch covered with wet/muddy paw prints! Simple washable dog beds are our favorite--we haven't found a truly 'chew proof' dog bed unless it's made of plastic or metal.  

7.  Grooming.  We love the Life's abundance shampoo and we use the bath fresh mist spray between grooming all the time.   The most important part of a shampoo is making sure it is completely, thoroughly rinsed out of the puppy's coat!  We have listed some of our favorite grooming tools below but the one most important tool is a good slicker brush.  All doodles need to be groomed and coats need regular attention to keep your dog looking beautiful and comfortable.  Tangles and mats hurt your dog! Regular grooming (every 6-8 weeks) is an important part of doodle care.


8.  Food.  This is probably our most asked question.  We've tried a lot of food and we've researched a lot of food.  The short answer is that we like Paw Tree food better than anything else we've used.  More about this at the bottom of the page.  

There are a few other recommended products we have for you from a company called Life’s Abundance.  Link are at the top of the page. We love to use the Bully sticks to keep puppies occupied and give them something to chew on when they are teething. I like to put these in the puppies crate as I am crate training to give them a positive crate experience. Your puppy will be coming home with one of these.  They are a better option to use in place of a rawhide and the puppies and adult dogs LOVE them. We recommend that you not give your puppy raw hides. They are made with lots of chemicals and can also cause obstructions and get stuck or caught in the GI tract.  The Tasty rewards training treats are one of our favorites to use with the puppies for clicker training.  These treats are nice and soft and easy to pull apart into pieces for a quick reward during clicker training.  Our all time favorite shampoo we get from life's abundance. We love their shampoo, and the bath fresh mist is great to have on hand for  in between grooms when they need a little freshening up.

Shopping Links

Our preferred food information is at the bottom of this page.

Products that we love from another online company called LIfe's Abundance that we just can't find good replacements for in regular stores:

Bully sticks

Tasty rewards training treats


Bath fresh mist


Nail clippers--these are easy to hold and have a great guard to keep from cutting the quick. 


Tougher than Tangles grooming brush.  This is an all time favorite for us.  The extra long pins work through deep tangles without damaging skin.

Andis steel comb

This is great to help remove mats below the surface. You really only need this tool if you are grooming your dog yourself. 

We love these easy to use clickers--we have them stashed all over the house--especially when we are working with a new puppy. 

We've tried multiple brands and types of clippers and this one is the only one that we will purchase again!  It has a long cord and cuts smoothly and easily. 

These blades are sturdy enough to get through thick hair and they are easy to keep organized with the plastic box. 

All clippers heat up when they are used for long periods of time but this cleaning and cooling solution makes a huge difference in how long the clippers can run.

Treats and snacks

Himalayan Dog Chews

Hard smoked cheese chews for dogs

Zuke's Mini Naturals Chicken Recipe

Training treats--these are small and soft and easy to break into small pieces to keep little tummies from filing up too quickly. 

Freeze Dried Liver 

These Training Treats will keep your hands clean and they are great to keep in various areas around the house and especially when taking the puppy out to go potty. 

Bil-Jac Training Treats

We've never met a dog that will turn down these treats--we love them for potty training. 


Rough Weather Pet door with telescoping Frame

If we had to choose only one product it would be a dog door every time! 

Four Paws Grass Wire

Rake Dog Scooper

Fonda's family swears by this rake to clean up.

Woof and Paw Pooper Scooper

Kim's family swears by this scooper to keep the grass clean. 

Dirty Dog large doormat--this soaks up dirt and water like nothing else and our dogs love to nap on this soft rug!

Coolaroo elevated dog bed

steel frame, Large

This is great for our outdoor patios in the summer.

We have found that our dogs prefer the closed in sides of the plastic crates.  We often stuff the back of a larger crate with a blanket or pillows to create a smaller space for puppies.

24 inch crate for dogs under 20 pounds

28 inch crate for dogs 20-30 pounds

32 inch crate for dogs 30-50 pounds

36 in crate for dogs 50-70 inches

Add a pad to fit your crate 

Padded Pet Bolster Bed

This is easy to move from room to room and easy to throw in the wash! We like to keep a few around the house.

Extra Reading

Karen Pryor introduced us to clicker training.  She is still one of our favorite trainers! We love this easy start kit. 

Cesar Millan is a classic in the world of dog training.  This is a great book to help prep for a new puppy! You can also watch episodes of "The dog whisperer" on National Geographic channel or on Disney+

Jane Killion is the creator of the Puppy Culture method of raising puppies.  This book is another of our favorites!

Our Preferred Food

*Please note that prices and items are always changing. The descriptions and prices on this page may not be up to date.

These are some of the essentials that you will want to have on hand with a new puppy in the house:

Food information:

Your puppy will be weaned onto Pawtree “Real Chicken & Sweet Potato."  You will need to continue with this food to prevent digestive upset. We recommend the chicken and sweet potato formula for puppies and we often switch to the the chicken and brown rice formula for adults but both formulas work really well for either. Do not feed different food for the first month--changing a puppies dog's food suddenly is a sure way to cause a severe case of diarrhea and discomfort.  Your puppy will already be slightly stressed going to a new home and keeping him/her on the same food will help to minimize that stress and reduce the chance of developing diarrhea. We want the transition of your puppy from our home to yours to go as smoothly as possible. You will need to order at least one bag of this food to help keep the initial transition to a new home as stress free as possible--a new puppy with diarrhea is not fun for anyone! If you want to use a different food transition over slowly. 

We have been researching and trying different dog foods for years--we were looking for a company with good history (no food recalls), dog nutritionist formulated, American made and as fresh as possible.  We are always consulting with fellow breeders and veterinarians to find the best way to care for our dogs and babies and we have found a company who provides just that for us and our puppies.  The dog food ‘Pawtree’ is made here in the USA. It is veterinarian nutritionist formulated to avoid heart problems even with their grain free foods. It is made with real fish and meat for a high quality protein. Pawtree food does not have any of the following: no poultry by-products, no corn, no wheat, no soy, no added sugars or sweeteners and no artificial color flavor or preservatives. Because Pawtree is a quality food we find  that we feed about 30% less than other dog foods and HAVE LESS WASTE TO CLEAN UP and the smell is less invasive as well which is a huge plus for us raising puppies in our homes!

This food company is a direct sale company and we have become a Distributor so that we can offer to our clients what we feel is the best.   We find value in feeding our dogs a good food without a bunch of fillers. We have found that that if we feed our dogs a high quality food they have better health, nicer, shinier coats, and stay young longer.  This will mean less vet bills in the long run.


As an incentive to get you started using PawTree and to be sure you’re set up with your food and some other puppy essentials before your puppy comes home, we credit you $100  towards the purchase price of your puppy if you place an order of the “ultimate Puppy starter kit” and 1 X-Large 30.9 lb bag of dog food (MVGD bundle) AND sign up for EZ Ship.   You won’t find Pawtree on store shelves. It ships directly from the company to you. When you sign up for EZ Ship option and place an order of the ‘MVGD bundle’  the items your shipping will be free. EZ ship will then be set up to automatically send you the food you will need when you need it which is really convenient. I used to think that it was convenient to be able to go to the store to pick up my dog food but now I never run out and need to go to the store. I've found that to be much more convenient.  It just shows up and is ready for me before I ever run out.  It comes directly to your door every 1-3 months (Depending on the schedule you set but we suggest you start with a 90 day cycle).  With EZ Ship you will save 25% on all shipping cost or you can get free shipping if you add 3 “non-food” (things other than the actual dog or cat food kibble ) items to your cart. 


A few useful tips to know when ordering your dog food: 

*Instead of ordering the 10.3 lbs bag order the X-Llarg  30.9 lbs bag and you will save about 30% on the price of your dog food. These X-large 30.9 lbs bags actually come packaged in 3 smaller 10.3 lbs easy to handle sizes.


*We find that our mini doodles go through 1 10.3 lb bag every 6 weeks. Medium - Standard doodles go through 1 10.3 lb bag about every 4 weeks.

*While looking through the Pawtree website you will see a picture of a truck in the upper  left corner above each Item. There is a number in that truck. This number is the number of Items that count towards your 3 “Non-food” items for free shipping. 

*Paw tree has a great feature for your puppy called “Pet Profile.”  You can set up a profile for each of your animals, (Cats and Dogs) and they will help you to determine how much food you will need to order, what food is best for you and how frequently you will want it delivered though your EZ ship. This feature also will advise you on other product recommendations based on your pets size, age and any issues they may have. 


You will need to create an account with a username and password.  Please be sure that when placing your order you see the  name of either “Fonda Thompson”(if getting a puppy from Fonda) or "Kimberly Hatch"  (If getting a puppy from Kim) at the upper left hand corner.  We can not track who has ordered and will be unable to give you your $100 discount unless you see this name there before you place your order.

Order food from

Order food from

To add these items to your cart simply click on the “My recommendations” tab at the top right corner. Then click on “Basic Go Home Bundle” or “Ultimate go home bundle”. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and be sure the EZ ship button is marked.  Click “Add all products to cart”.  Then click on your shopping cart at the upper right corner.  It will bring you to your cart where you should see 2 items. Click the green circle next to the “EZ ship on the “Starter kit”. Doing this will remove this starter kit from your Ez ship order for your next shipment of dog food.  You will not want to have the starter kit ship a second time because you will not need everything in that kit again so quickly.  To qualify for the $100 off the purchase price of your puppy both of the items in the “Basic Go home Bundle”  or “Ultimate Go Home Bundle” will need to be ordered using EZ ship and a recurring ez ship order needs to stay in place.  The things that come in this bundle are all things that we ourselves would purchase and want to have on hand  if adding a new puppy to our family. We suggest you set the recurring order to 90 days. The following are things that will come in your order.

1 X-Large bag (this pack actually contains three smaller bags)  “Real Chicken & Sweet Potato” 

Ultimate Puppy starter kit for Small/Medium Breeds 

This kit comes with the following: 

1 10.3 lb bag “Real Chicken & Sweet Potato”

1 bag “Dry Roasted Chicken, Pumpkin & Cinnamon Strips”

1 bag “Freeze Dried Turkey, Sweet Potato, Green Beans & Cranberries” We absolutely love these freeze-dried treats from Pawtree. They don't have any additives or fillers.  We use them all the time here when raising your puppies.  The only ingredients in these treats are those that are named in the name.  We like to take 1 or 2 of these treats and use it for a training session by breaking off little pieces. I can usually treat about 10 times using one of these treats during a training session. 

1l bag Dental sticks - Small

1 pawPairings ”Beef Medley Superfood Seasonings” This helps with picky eaters it’s also a fantastic way to give your dog a variety and an extra source of vitamins.  They won't get bored of their food when it is changed up using paw Pairings. Next time you order dog food You can use the “3for30” code and order the “surprise me” 3 pack of paw Pairings to get free shipping again. It is good to have a few flavors on hand to help give variety. Some of our favorites are Salmon, ocean fish, and Chicken Liver. Usually when in doubt about a flavor of anything, something with liver in it is very appealing to most every dog.

1 32 oz bottle “Urine Eliminator - Stain & Odor Remover”

1 “Poop Bag Dispenser with refill bags”

1 Box “Gastro Pro Plus 30 count”  this will help prevent diarrhea--especially when your puppy first goes home 

1 8 oz Bottle “Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil”  this is great to keep coat and skin healthy