Puppy Training is Hard… But Worth It

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Good girl, Harper

We are so in love with this little puppy! Le sigh. I can’t imagine talking about much else here for a while… and I can’t imagine you’re upset about it. πŸ™‚

I’m going to just drop a few pupdates here about her first week with us.

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Harper has been such a fast learner. She’s getting used to her routine (yes, we have a puppy schedule printed out on our fridge) and she’s taking to her crate so well. In just two days, she’s hardly crying when we ask her to stay in there. She sleeps in the crate at night and has been such a good girl, hardly making a fuss. She just whines a little when she wakes up and we immediately take her outside.

Last night, she went in her crate at 10 pm (although she was asleep at 9) and woke to go potty at 3 am. Then she slept another 2.5 hours before it was time for another walk and then her breakfast.

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Blurry crate shot: We use a divider to limit the amount of space she has because if there’s too much, she’ll experiment with going potty on one side and sleeping on the other.

Crate training is really about potty training in many regards, as she learns to hold her bladder for 1, 2, 3 hours at a time. Since mother dogs remove their puppies’ waste from their dens/nests when they’re super young, pups learn very quickly that their den is not where they should be going potty. During the day between potty time, meal time, and play time, she spends some intervals in her crate to get used to holding her bladder (with the added benefit of not having to watch her every move… more like her every thought!).

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Here you can see the result of taking my eyes off of her for one second. She picked up a rock or a piece of mulch or something not quite edible. Whoops!

Since we live in an apartment up two flights of stairs, we carry her down numerous times a day. Though she be but little, she is fierce heavy! πŸ™‚ She weighs 14 pounds and I am already feeling the muscles in my arms and back getting a tad sore… not to mention my legs from going up and down stairs that often! However, she just discovered how to climb up the stairs, which should make our world a lot easier in the next couple weeks.

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This picture cracks me up!

She loves to eat grass and explore the whole world through her mouth! We haven’t experienced too much issue with mouthing and nipping, but she does get extra excited when she meets someone new and tends to nip more often. Puppy teeth are so sharp!

We’ve been testing out different methods to curb this behavior: ignoring them completely, handling their muzzles so that they stay closed (this is advised for when they’re older), and sticking a finger into their mouths, which is instantly unpleasant. Nick has found that the last method works the best; instead of mouthing, she changes over to licking him sweetly. Much better! πŸ™‚

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She absolutely loves socializing with people, but she is a little timid around other dogs (especially adult ones). We’re hoping to get her cleared by the vet to be around other puppies so that we can take her to The Paw School for KinderPup classes. (Yes, we’re those people.) Socialization with other pups is integral in the 8-16 week stage, so we’re trying to get that in ASAP.

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She’s definitely bonding with us, which has been my favorite part of this week! Her tail wags when we come home and she licks our faces when we take her out of her crate in the mornings. She also loves to follow us and be by our feet in the kitchen… a precarious situation but one we’re not going to discourage just yet. πŸ™‚

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And since she’s still such a baby, sleeping is her main activity. She’s either playing or sleeping… there’s not much in between. She needs all that rest to absorb everything she’s learning and to grow! I can’t wait to see how she’ll transform over the next few months.

Le sigh.

4 thoughts on “Puppy Training is Hard… But Worth It

  1. Lynne says:

    Training is a lot of work but so worth it in the end. Our first two goldens we got at 8 weeks. You’ll love when those little baby teeth (a.k.a. razor blades) fall out. It won’t take long for the lacerations on your arms heal:):) Feel free to talk about Harper all the time. She’s adorable!

    Liked by 1 person

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