Yet, every puppy is a handful. Its not just all cuteness and fun. Of course its so fun having a cute new puppy, but they are a lot of work and having a puppy is a life long commitment. Once you get a puppy they are part of your family! Many people get puppies without realizing that its a lot of work, its always more expensive than you think and be prepared for sleepless nights. Being patient is also part of having a puppy.
You will spend more money than you planned
Before we got our puppy, I knew having a dog was expensive, but I told myself we’d do things on the cheap side: get the bare minimum of toys, not going to classes, find the cheapest vet we can get away with and still have a healthy dog.
After bringing the dog home, however, you start to see the importance of mental occupation. Would you rather your dog chew on your coffee table, your hand, or a chew toy?
That means they need lots of different kinds of toys: chew toys made of all different materials, toys specifically for play (that don’t lay around for chewing), tug-of-war ropes, frisbees, fluffy toys, real bones, Kongs with peanut butter, … the list goes on.
Even if you find a reasonably-priced vet, you’ll have to go once a month until the puppy has all their vaccinations.
When it comes to training, first focus on calmness
We have this impulse to begin training our dogs to sit, lie down and shake hands right away, and we neglect foundational skills that should be the initial focus of dog training.
Your dog doesn’t know how to act in your home at first. Train your puppy to be calm.
It’s really simple: whenever you catch your dog lying down on his own (without instruction from you), reward them with a little treat.
You also want to get your dog used to being handled. Stick your fingers in his ears, pull gently on his tail, play with his paws, slide your fingers into the corners of his mouth, etc.
Basically, get them used to anything you can imagine the vet having to do during a checkup or a toddler doing upon walking up to the dog.
These are some of the most important things I’ve learned since having my puppy! Hope this helps someone out there!