Attention all soon-to-be puppy owners. After all of your diligent research toward picking out the perfect puppy is done and an arrival date to your home has been set, it is critical to be prepared before the puppy arrives to spend the next 10 to more years with you. Starting off on the right paw will help ensure that the coming years are happy ones. Remember, puppies need a very structured, consistent environment, just as with human newborns. Life with puppies usually goes much more smoothly when they have a set schedule for everything from eating to sleeping to playing and yes, pottying. Puppies learn from repetition, and abiding by a schedule reinforces the early lessons in their new life with you. One piece of equipment I consider an absolute necessity is the dog crate, especially for those who will live indoors. Many veterinarians, dog trainers and animal behaviorists known for their sensitivity and positive training techniques, advocate using a crate because when used correctly it provides one of the most effective ways to train your puppy to become a happy, well-adjusted family member.