Try walking two blocks in New York City these days without seeing a puppy – you can’t. The pandemic has allowed so many people the time to bring a new pup into their homes. Being one of these people myself (and living in the tiny jail cell I like to call my Manhattan studio apartment) [I told you to move into a bigger place…], I have had many conversations with him – and he’s a sassy one let me tell you…
Chill out I’m a quick learner
There is so much pressure on puppy parents during the first few months – between potty training, socialization, obedience training, and teething, there is so much information to cram into their little developing puppy brain. It is very easy to feel overwhelmed and nervous that you are going to miss something and your pup is going to be misbehaved for the rest of his life. [same with my kids girl, same]
The key here is – HE WON’T! Puppies are resilient and smart – focus on the key commands that are important to you. For example, it’s more important to me that he can relax in his crate than knowing some extra tricks. During this time – prioritize the key behaviors you want to instill in your pup and don’t sweat the small stuff. Even though he will soak up training like a sponge at this age – that doesn’t mean he can’t learn new things throughout his life. I highly recommend online training schools like Baxter & Bella. They provide timelines and training tools to use at home and with a very affordable lifetime membership, you have the ability to chat with them all the time regarding any questions that come up.
I’m fine leave me alone
Along with the training goals – there is a long list of to do items at the vet during the first few months home. It is easy to get bogged down in the stress of whether or not your puppy’s behavior is normal or if there is something wrong. Trust me – I don’t even want to know what my Google search history looks like at this point…
Trust your vet, know that puppies’ bodies are figuring out life, and make sure you don’t treat every upset tummy like it’s the end of the world. I have learned that even if I were to watch him like a hawk – shit happens – and he will survive it. Once I acknowledged this, it was like a weight lifted off of both our shoulders. He had more freedom, I felt much more relaxed, and my vet stopped receiving (as many) frantic phone calls.
Play with me
I was so full of anxiety during the first few months home with my pup that I truly missed out on enjoying some of his cutest puppy moments. Though I will not miss the puppy stage when it’s over (I will bask in the naps) – I will miss his tiny adorable face and cute mannerisms. [he really is a precious pup, I won’t lie]
This is the best time to learn which games and toys really excite your pup – so try to enjoy just watching him play and discover new things! Take lots of pics and videos and don’t stress out too much about making everything a training opportunity. This is key bonding time. Some simple play time never hurt anyone (just make sure to take him out soon afterward so you don’t get pee on your nice trendy rugs). Here are some of my pups favorite toys (he’s a chewer):
I’ll be your BFF
I will be the first to admit that I had a BAD case of the puppy blues after I brought my little guy home. My mind was swirling: What did I just do? I can’t handle this on my own. How am I ever going to have a life?!
Looking back now I just wish I could tell myself then that everything will be fine. The first few months were literally like having a newborn baby – he relied on me for every. little. thing. However, as he grew up and learned, we both gained more confidence. I went from barely having time to eat cereal for dinner to cooking again (ok maybe it was just graduating to Mac & Cheese but still), and he enjoyed his new freedoms. It’s now so enjoyable to have his company and I don’t know what I did before he came into my world!