Are you thinking about getting a puppy? If so, you may want to read our puppy story. This is our story of life with a puppy for the first year. After getting our rescue “lab”, I had no idea what I was doing. I have never had a dog before or even been around a puppy for more than a few minutes. I also had no idea how much our lives would change! This ordeal reminds me a little of when I had children!
Puppies are similar to children in that they don’t sleep through the night, so waking up several times though out the night was an adjustment. I forgot how difficult it was to function without uninterrupted sleep for multiple consecutive nights! Having a puppy is also similar to have a new baby in that you question things. How much am I supposed to feed him? What kind of food is the best for him? How often is he supposed to go potty? Is that what it is supposed to look like? All of these questions brought me back to the days when my children were infants. So, I did what most people do and scoured the internet and books!
Additionally, I always see people around the neighborhood walk so nicely with their dogs. I figured it just came naturally. Nope! Puppies need to practice walking with you. When we got our puppy at three months, there really was no walking on the leash. It was more like he would dart back and forth and almost choke himself on the leash. Even when we purchased a harness for his chest, he still would gag and choke. So, for the third month of his life, we just let him run around the back yard. Now that we are on month five, we can actually down the street for a short period of time.
Then, there is nipping. Well, I call it “biting”, but dog lovers call it “nipping”. When we first brought him home, we didn’t realize he was sick. He just slept a lot. Then, once he started to feel better, I found out what nipping really was. Puppies teeth are like knives – well at least my puppy’s teeth are! Now that he is healthy and big, my arms and legs are all scratched up! I have learned to spray bitter apples on my arms if he is in a biting mood and he will stop. I also try to have a toy by me to give to him, when my arm looks like a chew toy. The last tip is to teach your puppy how to sit early. I was able to do this before we started our puppy lessons with lots and lots of treats. Now, even if he is in a biting mood, I can get him to stop and sit with a treat. Lucky for us, it seems he only gets in his nipping moods first thing in the morning and right when we are done with work and pick the kids up from school.
Then there is growling, pouncing and nipping at other dogs. Dog lovers are always saying to me, “he’s just a puppy!” What does that even mean?!?! Are they just trying to be nice, but really thinking my dog is crazy? Friends and neighbors, who have seen our pup say that he is a calm puppy. Seriously? If this is a calm puppy, I think this will be our last puppy. I’ll rescue an older dog next time!
Last item worth mentioning is the fur! Wow! Let’s just say, if you only sweep or vacuum once a week, you will be doing it more often.
But, when he wags his tail and is so happy to see you, it does make you feel pretty good. Hopefully, I’ll become more of a dog person and form a great bond with Jax, like all of the other dog loving posts I see everywhere!
Do you have a dog? What is your advice to new puppy owners?
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