The puppy population of Ireland has exploded in recent months! With phrases like 'pandemic puppy' circulating since the early stages of our 2020 lockdowns!
A consistent piece of insight that we hear from our clients and friends is that they were NOT prepared for Puppy-hood!
"it would be easier to have another toddler!"
"It's like having a newborn, but with less knowledge about how to handle it"
"I can't wait to sleep again!"
This blog is aimed at giving you a cold, hard look into the world of Puppy Pawrenting, the costs and common challenges that people face and the areas that cause the most frustration for new pawrents! Let's get stuck in!
Costs: You will see our blog post here regarding hidden costs of puppie-hood, which outlines the basic formula as: Price of Dog + €1000 + Food, treats and toys.
Puppies go through 2 hugely developmental phases between 3 weeks old and 16 weeks old. Their learning during this period is influential on their responses to new experiences in later life - and being able to commit time to socialising your pup during this stage is one of the big pit-falls of many puppy owners!
Toilet training: As a rough rule of thumb - Puppies have a bladder capacity equivalent to 1 hour per month old, up to 6 months. This translates to effective toilet training requiring 2-4 visits to the garden in the middle of the night. If you like star gazing and are pretty weather tolerant then perhaps this is for you! Good toilet training was one of the best things we invested time in during the early stages - and our pupper has had less than 5 accidents in her lifetime!
Teething: Do you like your furniture in its current state? Or do you feel it could be made more 'Rustic' with some scratches and teeth marks into the legs? Not only do pups need to chew to alleviate teething complaints, but they need to chew to feel good too! Chewing is a self-soothing behaviour and one that all too often we try to suppress without providing suitable alternatives. Pups also need to learn the power of their bite and they do this by testing their teeth on the many different surfaces and textures available to them! Many of our clients over the last 12 months have suffered at the jaws of short but speedy 'land sharks' and some of the reasons the behaviour escalated include:
1) Accidentally reinforcing the behaviour
2) Not providing suitable alternative chewing options
3) Not allowing your pup sufficient sleeping time during the day
No one wants to be savaged by their sweet little bundle of love - but teeth on skin is definitely one of the prevailing problems of recent months!
Our final observation is that despite our best intentions and beliefs, our adored Little Woofers don't come to us having studied human behaviour and the English language. The aim of our training is to help build a bond between you and your Little Woofer based on trust and understanding. Training, good behaviour and everything else, comes next!