We have been dog owners for three weeks. I’m still extremely happy for our decision to get a new family member but living with an exited toddler takes its toll. Even tough both me and Janina have been living with dogs and have gone trough puppy phase, memory can fade and things tend to happen quicker and more often than we anticipated . Here’s 10 things almost all puppy owners go through listed by us.
1. Poop and pee. All the time. Everywhere.
Figures, right? Although there are those people who tell you their dog learned to do its business outside right after first week, remember that accidents do happen when puppy is exited, playful, nervous or owner just didn’t realize puppy needed to go. We have been wiping the floors daily but that’s ok as the whole family is learning together. Even though we have been living with puppies before one forgets how much such a small thing can produce waste.
2. Biting. Ouch!
Toddler is changing its teeth at some point and it’ll bite anything and everything on its way to ease the nasty feeling in the gums. Puppies also play with their mouths and it’ll bite you, your pants, your sofa, kitchen chairs, your vintage armchairs etc. We have been trying to offer plenty of different kind of toys to our darling piranha and still there has been blood and teeth marks. We try to remember it’s not doing it because of aggression or just to be nasty or ill-behaved even though those little white needles can hurt like hell.
3. Oh, the sleepless nights…
When we say puppies are like toddlers we really mean it. Charlie has woken us up at least once per night by climbing onto a bed or having some fun in the middle of the night. We have not crate trained our puppy yet and it has been sleeping on the floor beside our bed on its own pillow. What ever method people are using, I bet you the first month isn’t the most peaceful in the terms of sleep. (The night before was really peaceful at last. Charlie has been living with us three weeks now.)
4. Your new home decoration? Dog’s toys!
Thank goodness puppies don’t play legos because the toys are everywhere. It plays for ten seconds, notices something else and off it goes while the toy stays. I really can’t underline it enough that puppy is like toddler just more hairier. Remember to check under the sofa for all missing tennis balls.
5. Puppy on/off
Puppy goes forward 110% or it’s sleeping like dead. No alternatives. It’s constant attention seeking and playing or not interested at all. It really feels that they are operated with some magical switch you can’t control and it’s going to drive you nuts time to time.
6. There will be ‘problems’
Nothing is perfect and even though we are trying our absolute best there will be conflicts and feelings of failure when things don’t go as we hoped or planned. Our Charlie has been afraid of noises outside which has slowed down our house training as he doesn’t always relax enough to poop. I can promise every dog and owner will have their own mountains to climb or at least hills. Thankfully internet is full of pages that offer information, examples and methods of training. There’s plenty of other people experiencing the exact same things as we as dogs are same everywhere.
7. You’ll love it and you’ll hate it
Yes, your puppy is a darling thing, whole family loves it tremendously but from time to time you ask yourself why on earth we decided to do this. It’s annoying and it doesn’t listen/understand what you want, sometimes you think it must hate you when it’s doing this or that. You’re at the end of your robe at three am when the puppy just doesn’t sleep and worry yourself sick when it has been refusing to eat third day straight. I believe all this is quite normal and if this is your first dog, you probably worry more than you really need to (at least I’m guilty for that). You probably love your family members even thought they can sometimes be the most annoying persons in the world. Dog is just a new family member or work partner and it has its own personality.
8. Sit! * blank stare *
Puppies don’t know how to do things as they are children. I didn’t know how to read at four years old. Good thing is puppies will learn as they grow if someone teaches them. (Maybe not to read thought.) So take take time with your new friend and get training.
9. They grow so quickly!
Next week your puppy will be bigger than now and you can actually see it. Keep a camera ready if you want to catch your pooch’s baby face in pictures. Puppy’s quick growing also means that you have to replace it’s harness or collar and possible clothes quite soon. So that baby’s first sweater is probably used only for a week or two.
10. Be flexible with your deadlines
Maybe you work from home like we do or you have put weekend aside to finish some task or project. Good luck trying. Most likely you need much more time than you thought as the puppy is exited to participate, needs to be taken outside to pee, wants to play or you just fall asleep with your hairy buddy when it needs a nap.
Thankfully things often calm down after first few months and even more after first year. It helps to chat with some friends with dogs and you can always ask things from your veterinarian or breeder/kennel. Sign up for puppy classes, read about dogs and their training, check Youtube tutorials, watch Cesar Milan from telly or do some web surfing. Basically anything that gives you the feeling that you even vaguely know what you’re doing there. Remember that you are dominating alpha in the pack while the dog depends on you for guidance and protection.
Cesar Milan’s home page – plenty of classic dog training information (and this will save your mental health)
Just Google It – probably you’re not the only one wondering
Clicker training tutorial for puppy – we have been using this as a help and it has been working well for us.
Our Dog care Pinterest board where we have been re-pinning interesting tips, ideas and pictures for our own use.
We would be glad to hear your stories or see some ‘baby pictures’!