Puppy Shopping List

Here are a few of the things that we recommend for your PWD.  During one of our Whoosh Zoom sessions we will teach you how to use them. We personally use all items listed and have found them to be functional and good value for the money.  We have included Amazon links  where applicable, but some of these items are available from other sources.

This list was orginally compiled while we were living in the USA.  This list has updated  links to Amazon.ca where the products are economically available from Canada.  If it is significantly cheaper or unavailable in Canada the Amazon.com link is provided.

Getting Started

Snuggle Puppy

First thing you should buy.  Helps puppy be more comfortable and confident on his first nights in his new home.  It really works, it has a heart beat and heat pack to emulate his siblings.  We recommend drop shipping this to us so we can have it spend a couple of nights with the puppies to get both mom’s and the puppies scents on it.   We sometimes have these available at a slightly cheaper price, so check with us

Snuggle Puppy

Collar & Leash

The puppy will need a collar with a 8”-12" neck size.  We like the Collar Direct Rolled leather collars which keep the hair from matting and breaking.  We recommend a good quality 6’ leash,  we prefer leather leashes as nylon can burn your hands.  We have Collar Direct collars and leashes that are 10+ years old and still going strong.  There are lots of options for collars and leashes but be cautious to ensure that the hardware on any collar is good quality so it doesn’t break, some good manufacturers are Rogz, RuffWear and Hamilton.    

***** It will not be safe to take your puppy to a pet store to try on collars until at least 2 weeks after his vaccinations.


Puppy Calming Diffuser

Adaptil helps your puppy adjust to his new living situation by reducing stress and anxiety. The puppies have been raised with an Adaptil Diffuser in our home; our Vet uses a diffuser in every treatment room at the clinic and loves them.   Adaptil also makes a collar version.


36” Dog Crate

There are many variations of crates on the market.  The Mid-West crates are a good quality, and reasonably priced.  36” crates generally work for all but the largest of PWDs, this crate also comes with a divider which allows you to reduce the size of the crate when the puppy is small and gradually increase it as they grow.

36" Crate

36”  Crate Pad

We don’t recommend spending a lot of money on your first crate pad as puppies will sometimes chew them (Chewers need to have their pads removed).  We keep two fabric pads per crate so that one can be in the wash.   A non-chew version that is our very favourite is available at PrimoPads  these are custom sized to your individual crate, so you need the crate first to measure it.

Crate Pad

36”  Crate Cover

For crate training you will need to cover your crate, you can  just use a sheet or a couple of towels but this is a more eligant solution.   Also you will find many puppies will retire to a covered crate to rest as they see it as their den. 

Crate Cover

Safe Spot for Puppy

It is important to have a spot for your puppy in the middle of the action that is safe.  We recommend either a combination of baby gates to restrict access to a small space or use an exercise pen like the one below to create a safe spot.  The crate is your puppy’s bed, this is his play-space when you are not directly supervising him.   We recommend going with at least a 40” high pen.   


Water Dish

We like this style of water dish for puppies.   They are called Water Dogs for a reason and puppies love to play in their water bowls, the wide bases make it extremely difficult for them to flip the dish.   Puppies should have access to water where ever they are, so have a couple of bowls will keep you from having to move full water dishes around.  We also recommend a Pet Mat or Boot Tray to protect your floor from spilled water.  

Water Bowls

Water Dish Mat

Travel Water Dish (Puppy pen water dish)

This is the water dish that we use to introduce the puppies to water and we also use it in the car when we travel as it is a “no spill” dish that holds lots of water.  It is a really good dish to start your puppy at home with as it has a very small water surface area making much harder for your puppy to “dig” in the water and splash it all around (remember they are WATER DOGS, LOL). 

Water Boy

Snuffle Matt

Snuffle mats are great for keeping your puppy entertained.  They come in a variety of designs, generally consisting of a high pile fabric that you can sprinkle kibble or treats into.  It’s a hide and seek game for the dogs and will often keep them occupied for time. We recommend versions that have heavy base or tie downs as adult water dogs will sometimes pick them up and shake them to get the treats out.

Snuffle Mat


The first chew toy you should get.  Kong makes great chew toys.  Your pup needs to chew.  You can stuff the kong with treats or freeze it with yogurt, peanut butter, etc so it lasts even longer.  Safe to leave your puppy alone with in his crate.  We recommend the classic Kong in a medium to start, and then a large as the puppy grows.  Please check Kong’s size charts for their other products. 



Nylabones are great to have around to keep your puppy busy, we keep at least one per puppy in the pen once they start to get their teeth.   This is a great  starter set which includes a soft starter bone, a harder graduate bone and an edible bone.   There is a wide range of Nylabone products in all shapes, sizes and flavours.


Yak Chews

Very hard chews made from Yak Milk.  They are the longest lasting safe edible we’ve found. 

Yak Chews

Bully Sticks

A good chew to keep your puppy busy.   Bully sticks are a natural product that is safe for puppies. (Rawhide is different from Bully Sticks and is made with nasty chemicals and cause bowel obstructions that may need surgery)

Bully Sticks

goDog Stuffed Toys

This is the best soft toy brand we have found.  Their toys last longer than others.  Any stuffed toy needs to be taken away if the stuffing starts to come out.  Medium or Large.

GoDog Toy

Water Bottle Toys

Puppies love toys that crunch.  Like these with water bottles inside. (Take off the caps of any bottles that your puppy is chewing and watch that they are not breaking off pieces of plastic)

Water Bottle Toy

No Stuffing Toys

Nice to have some toys that they can’t pull the stuffing out of.

No Stuffing Toy

Grooming - These are the must haves for at home, even if you are using a groomer.

Millers Forge Stainless Steel Slicker Brush

There are many different slicker brushes on the market made for many different breeds and hair types. These have been our goto brushes for many years, they are just right for the PWD coat.  They come in two sizes, the small will work for your puppy, but we recommend just getting the Large and your puppy will grow into it.   Please avoid any brushes at pet stores, quite frankly they suck.  There are other more expensive brushes that work if you are interested ask us.  We always have at least two of these slickers because sometimes they are difficult to find. 

Slicker Brush

Metal Comb

We recommend a good quality stainless steel comb with both narrow and wide teeth.



This is our go-to shampoo.  Also available in a Gallon concentrate that you mix with water and will last you years.



This is our go-to Conditioner.  Also available in a Gallon concentrate that you mix with water and will last you years.


Detangling Spray

This is a grooming spray that is great for helping keep matts away.  You can spray it on your dog and brush it through after he has been swimming or  wet.  This is the premixed, it is also available as a concentrate which is much cheaper.


Lick Mat

This is going to seem silly, but if you have ever tried to control a puppy in the bath tub, you will understand the value.  Also great for distracting puppy while doing toe nails.  ( Before using any peanut butter or cheese spread check to make sure that it does not contain  Xylitol which is deadly to dogs)

Lick Mat


It is important to be able to keep your puppies nails trimmed between grooming visits.  There are two main methods, clippers or grinders.  We are firmly in the grinder camp as it is less likely to cut into the blood vessel that runs through the nail.   

There are lots of “Dog Toe Grinders” on the market, many with special shields etc;  We have not found any of these that works well.  We recommend the Dremel shown below , it is cordless so it is easy to move around the dogs paws, has enough power, and fits the bits we recommend.   Some people use the sanding drums that come with the tool for nails, we have found that they heat up too quickly and can burn the dog and the drums catch in the hair - We do not recommend using sanding drums with our breed.   We recommend the Diamagroove bit.  This is the gold standard for diamond nail grinder bits, we have been using it for >5  years. (click link Diamagroove - Order - Pinical Model - Standard Grit)   They are a little more expensive than the knock of versions (Amazon link to the Knock off below) but we think the original product is far superior, it doesn’t tangle in the coat and the hollow design keeps the bit cool.  The Groomer Best Friend - shown below (order size - Enhanced Large) is the closest we have found to the Diamagroove, it is slightly less expensive, but we have not gotten good feedback from people who have used it.

Note: Some of these links are affiliate, but we only endorse products that we believe in and use.   



© Greg & Robin Illchuk 2018-2024