Since it’s been so long since I’ve last had a puppy and I’ve been dealing with full grown, adult dogs for the past few years, there were a few things that caught me a little by surprise. In the back of my mind, I had a feeling these things would come up at some point, BUT, I feel like I could have mentally prepared myself better had some of these been fresh in my mind.
Keep reading if you’d like to know about 5 random things I experienced so far, with raising a puppy!
- Waking up every 2-3 hours
Don’t get me wrong – I’m SO GLAD that I didn’t have a puppy who cried/barked/howled all night long for the first few nights. However, all puppies have small bladders because they are still so tiny! They will need to relieve themselves every couple of hours, and can’t last through the night. Essentially, puppies are like babies! Also, if the puppy is not used to a puppy pad or newspapers to use as their bathroom and you place them down on the floor the first night, they may mistake it for a toy and end up shredding the paper to pieces! This was my issue…how I resolved it…WAKE UP EVERY 2 HOURS TO TAKE HIM OUT! Katsu somehow taught himself how to be housebroken, or just preferred to use the grass. He would bark to let us know he was ready to be taken outside! Good – minimal accidents. Bad – lack of sleep. This will happen every once in a while even at 3 months old. Don’t worry, it goes away with time 🙂 Be patient!
- Shedding Fur
Different breeds of dogs shed varying amounts of fur. I was somewhat prepared for this and got used to seeing lots of fur all over my clothes! It would also be left all over the tile floor, and so I would sweep and vacuum regularly to keep the amount down. What I didn’t realize though, is that excessive shedding at around 10 weeks was because a new coat was growing in! Puppy fur is GONEEEE!!! So sad, but it was going to happen some time!
- Dashing around like a hyperactive, crazy puppy!
Puppies love, love, love to play! There are times where this comes in bursts of energy! You may see your puppy sprinting around the house or yard (whatever space you have). It’s a bit unpredictable, but this would happen at least a couple of times during the day. The best thing to do is…GET OUT OF THE WAY! Puppies have TONS of energy and they need to get it out. Sometimes you can see it in their eyes – they get a look on their face, and you know the energy switch is turned wayyy up and they’re ready to go!
- Play biting
This is something that we are still working through! I don’t recall my other dogs play biting as puppies, so I’m at a little of a stuck point here. Play biting is not aggressive, playful biting – it’s naturally how puppies and dogs play with each other! So far, it’s taken LOTS of patience and understanding. A new puppy probably also thinks you’re a puppy, not a human! He’s slowly learning that biting hard hurts and that my hands are not a toy to play tug of war with! The current method that seems to get the message across is walking away whenever play biting starts. This shows the puppy that play biting is not appreciated and definitely not how you get attention. If biting is going to happen, then there is NO playing! The puppy will eventually realize that these two things are related and stop biting. This one DEFINITELY takes a lot of time and patience!
- Leash biting/pulling
Another one I’m still trying to figure out! Leashes turn into a toy that’s great for tug of war! I can never get Katsu to stop biting his leash. He MUST bite on to it when I put it on, and most times when he’s walking around with it on. The only times I get lucky and this doesn’t happen is if we’re going somewhere and there are so many other distractions. If we try to bring him back into the house on a leash, he bites down and tugs to play! If anyone has tips about this, I would appreciate it!
These may not be the 5 most common things that your puppy does…but some of them can be quite challenging! Just wanted to share these things, in case you’re planning to get a puppy some time soon, so you aren’t caught off guard. Be prepared! Biting especially takes time since this is natural behavior or a dog. They don’t have any hands that they can pick things up with, so biting is the way to go. It’s challenging to teach your dog how to bite on the RIGHT things (toys, etc.).
Good luck with your puppy training! Thanks for reading!