At the moment in February of 2022, I am raising a puppy, and I am very tired. I love it most of the time! I love the potty training process, and the puppy chewing, and the crate training. I'm learning something new everyday with this girl. It is an opportunity for me to test a lot of the new things I've learned about puppies and behavior to better help other people with puppies.
It's not all great though. I've had to overhaul my schedule, I wake up three times a night to take her outside, she yells in her crate at home and I need to prevent that but she doesn't always cooperate when I bring her to work. Speaking of work, I have an extremely ideal job for this mess. You know what I do if you're here. People in my industry understand rearranging your life for an animal, it's what we wish our clients could or would do.
I am so empathetic to those who are going through puppy rearing without a love for behavior or a support system. I don't know how you do it, they are literally babies, they have to go potty every 30 minutes they are awake until maybe four months old for god's sake! I also already have all the crates, gates and pens you could ever need for one puppy because confinement and puppy proofing is so important. For most healthy puppies, those are necessary to keep them safe.
When you get a puppy and you want to do it right, you need to have a plan before that puppy comes home. Get time off work, call friends up and ask if they can puppy sit, buy a crate, buy all the enrichment toys you can find, buy Canine Enrichment for the Real World, buy my Raise Them Right Program (huh, what? ). You have so much to change before puppy comes if you don't already live like I do: with a suicidal Chihuahua and a wrecking ball.
You have to be okay with some damage. Puppies are going to chew, and the more you try to dissuade them from something, the more they want it! So far completely ignoring it stops the gnawing on things within a few seconds after she realizes it's not edible. That said, I have supplied with so many chewing outlets that are easier to chew and more satisfying than my leather couch or wooden coffee table. This has also held true for rocks and plants, but isn't working so well with sticks, I'm trying carrots as a stick alternative but I may just buy a safe piece of wood for her to chew and see how that goes.
The point is, I'm in it with you and I understand some of the sacrifices I am asking you to make for your puppy are difficult. These sacrifices are important though, if you can keep puppy happy and safe, you will have an easier time raising them. Love your puppies, love yourselves, and have fun with them!