Many of you who follow me on social media will know that during the last couple of weeks my time has been largely occupied by a certain Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy who goes by the name ‘Willow’. Yes, I have a new addition to the family and as much as it is exciting and fun, it is also very tiring and hard work looking after a puppy! I honestly don’t mind that whilst many others my age go out heavily drinking on a Saturday night, I’ll probably be sat in watching Disney movies with the pup sleeping on one side and the cats on the other. I am a really big animal lover and I find that just spending time with them perks up my day. It is also incredibly good for my mental health. But whilst raising Sayuri from kitten to cat meant cleaning up litter trays, lots of playing and scolding her for playing with cables, puppies are a lot more demanding. In today’s post I’m just going to cover what to expect when bringing a new puppy home, any advice I can give from my experience so far, and a quick to-the-point check-list of things to buy.
First up definitely don’t expect for the new pup to behave like a little angel, it is just not going to happen. Puppies are naughty and need to be taught what is acceptable and what isn’t. Yes he/she is extremely cute, but if you start training right away it is going to be easier in the long run (or so I am hoping). My little one (Willow) is at the stage where she is experiencing the world through her mouth, therefore I need to watch her every move to make sure she firstly doesn’t swallow something that will cause her problems, and secondly something I don’t want her munching like my shoes! Puppy is chewing your clothes? clap your hands. Digging at the carpet? firm ‘no’. Stay consistent with the rights and wrongs around the house as dogs respond best to that.
He/she might also cry for attention, the key here is negative reinforcement. This means the puppy is looking for a response from you and by not giving in and fussing over him/her the pup will soon learn that this isn’t the best way to get your attention. Most importantly always positively reinforce good behaviour! This is the quickest learning technique for dogs, hence why it is used in obedience training. So to sum up puppies are a lot of fun, but they require a lot of care whether it be monitoring them or giving them cuddles. If you are planning to take home a pup you will definitely need a lot of free time as they can’t be left alone in their crate for over 3 hours at a time at such a young age.
food & feeding bowls,
dog house training crate/bed with comfy blankets,
toilet training pads,
suitable toys – (plenty of chew toys if you don’t want your furniture wrecked),
Collar/harness & leash,
& plenty of patience!
Please give me feedback on this post, and if anyone requests a kitten equivalent I am more than happy to write it up!