I have assembled a starter list of supplies that we should have in place prior to bringing a new LGD pup home- especially our FIRST LGD, with no adult dogs to train him up. The pictures below will send you to Amazon.com via affiliate links. You can find many of these items locally at your feed or pet store, but they probably will be priced higher. Obviously, you can buy these things wherever you like, these are just examples!
BARE MINIMUM SUPPLY LIST
A properly sized to comfortably slide two of your fingers between the collar and the pup’s neck, but NOT able to slip over the head. If your pup has a slender head and thick neck, this can be tricky. I recommend using a martingale type collar when training, if your pup can slip out of his collar.
*10-12 week Pups are usually in “medium” collars and quickly graduate to “large” sized collars! Measure your pup’s neck and lean towards adjustable widths.
*Check the sizing on a growing pup’s collar at least once a week and adjust accordingly.
◇ 6-ft standard lead
This is what you use to take your pup to the Vet, to the feed store, and other socialization locations. Don’t use a retractable lead. Don’t use your 20-ft training lead. Don’t be that guy.
Grooming – Even outdoor, working dogs need some help with their grooming!
Your pup will need some level of grooming if they have any furnishings or long coat. Check around the ears and tail for the most common matting areas. If you notice mats forming, you’ll want a few things:
◇Cutting Mat Buster (cutting up existing mats):
◇Shelter – This is where your pup will stay when you are not directly supervising him. It should reside within the pen of his primary wards.
This can be anything with a roof and enough room for the pup and some insulation in the winter. Dogloo, barn, lean-to Pallet-shack, custom fancy-pants dog house, it’s all good. Make some form of shelter available to your LGD at all times.
Note: This does not mean he will ever actually USE the shelter, but it’s important that he has the option. Put this inside his kennel/run for now (so probably not a barn).
◇Real, secure fencing.
Do not expect a 30 lb puppy (or an adult dog) to stay in 3 strand (or even 5 strand) barbed wire fence. It isn’t realistic. Woven wire field fence, no-climb, or even chain link can work.
Note: Modification may be required for field fence and ranch panels while pups are small, since they can hop through the larger gaps.
*Here we use field fence with addition of the SportDog 100-A system to encourage adult dogs to stay off the fence line and it works superbly.
◇We feed kibble and supplement with raw meat when available. Our litters are raised on Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy FOCUS
◇Watch your food’s Ca:P ratio, 1-1.2% Ca to .8-1% P range respectively is good. What we do not want is to overload the system with extra calcium and encourage rapid growth. If you do your research, you know bigger is not better in a working LGD. Slow and steady growth is important.
◇Secure water bucket. Seriously, tie it to something so it cannot be tipped over by a rambunctious puppy. Consider putting a large, heavy rock in the bottom. Again, this goes in the kennel. Refresh daily, scrub weekly/as needed.
You should plan to spend a minimum of one active 15-minute session and one passive 15-minute session with your pup on a daily basis. This is 3.5 hours/week, but broken into short, interesting sessions- not a half hour/day straight. They will get bored and stop listening to you. More broken up is great, as is more time. You will pull out your hair if you try to do this in one time clump. Bad news for all involved! Keep it short and simple. Unattended pups should be safely contained near stock.
The goal of these short training sessions is to redirect and correct improper behaviors, encourage and model proper energy and behavior. When you are calm and confident around your goats or sheep, your puppy will follow your lead. Take the pup with you during barn chores every day, and establish what is normal from day one for your pup!