It's been 12 weeks since our puppy Otto arrived. Otto the Merry Prince of Austria to be precise. I definitely recommend reading as many books as you can and listen to every Tom, Dick and Harry/ dog owner. However you will always 'learn on the job' and here are a few things we did. Some obvious, some worth considering and others just observations.
Love at first sight..
Oh it really is true. Too true. We went to a few breeders both good and bad. The hardest thing is saying no when you have meet a new born pup but important to stay strong when you are not 100% positive it is the right setup. 'Shopping around' is really helpful as it will help you realise what 'good' looks like.
The first night is a tough one. Especially when you have taken your pup away from their Mum and siblings. Some people I admire went in for tough love on the first night, however we decided to sleep downstairs on the first night and then upstairs from there on in. If you don't want your pup to go upstairs a baby gate is definitely worth investing in.
When you pup is pooping on your Jimmy Choos it's hard not to loose patient. It's worth sticking with it and being consistent. Your Pup wants to do the right thing but 99% of the time he is not sure what you are asking of him, be patient and stick with it until they are familiar with what you are asking. Sounds weird but stalking your dog until you see him walking like John Wayne and then call him outside to go for his 'wee wee's' can help prevent bad habits. Always rewarding and remaining positive helps. Shouting at your pup has proven ineffective (turns out also applies to people), be firm, consistent and patient.
We found Otto such a greedy little pup which is the most useful blackmail for good behaviour along with kind words. If your pup likes food, your are in luck!
When we got him he had started on the raw food diet. I thought it was a fad that had hit the dog market but we can genuinely say that there are lots of benefits including his Poo and glossy coat! The made up stuff can work out quite expensive however there are lots of recipes online where you can make a batch and freeze it.
Having a pup is a big commitment. It is especially important in the first few weeks to give as much attention to your pup as possible, teaching them good behaviour and building your bond with them. It will be beneficial later on. Trying to manage work around them is tricky however flexibility is crucial.
We got Otto in January, whilst it has been amazing sometimes going outside for toilet training in the snow is not desirable. The short days put pressure on early starts and garden adventures. We are very much looking forward to the spring and summer and would recommend later in the year for the joy of the longer days and sunshine.
Otto has finally had his last injection and is due to embark on his first walk next week, we are very excited and will let you know how we get on..