Hubby and I have wanted a dog for a long long time. We waited until the time was right for us to welcome Lola into our family, but despite doing a lot of research before hand, I still don’t think we were prepared, and not sure we knew what to expect when getting a puppy.
Lola is nine months old now, and it’s like she has been part of our family forever. We wouldn’t be without her, but I do wish we had known a little more than we did.
A puppy will averagely arrive in your home around the age of 8 weeks old. They are still very tiny at this point. Even if you have a larger breed dog like a Labrador you will still be able to pick the dog up and walk around with it.
This wont last very long though so make the most of it!
If you’re lucky, the breeder will have already started some of the puppy’s life lessons such as toileting. When your puppy arrives in your home you’ll have to re educate the areas where it’s OK for your puppy to relieve themselves in your garden. We were lucky with Lola and she learnt very quickly with only a few accidents in the house. One rule of thumb is that your puppy will need to relieve themselves in the time frame relating to their age. For example a two month old puppy will need to be taken outside every two hours. You will soon notice the patterns of your own puppy, something that I couldn’t understand when people said it to me, but you get to know your puppy’s ways very quickly.
We hadn’t considered a crate when we were getting Lola, but someone mentioned it so after some research we bought one. Despite her being tiny in the extra large crate when we brought her home, she quickly became to understand that this was her sanctuary and it also meant we didn’t need to worry as much when we went out of the house that she would chew everything she saw.
In the beginning you shouldn’t leave a puppy in their crate for too long, and again the rule of thumb is guided against their age. One hour for every month old they are plus one hour up to a maximum of eight hours. I have never left Lola for longer than six hours and that’s at a push. It’s safer for her to be in her crate with her toys and comfy bed than it is to wander the house when I’m out and eat things she shouldn’t.
At nine months she isn’t any where near ready to sleep outside of her crate yet, and a lot of people recommend to me that this age will be around 18 months to two years.
If you are precious about your garden or home in a way that you can’t stand mess, then I would seriously consider the consequences before getting a puppy. Our garden is wrecked, and whilst we know it’s something she will grow out of with constant training, the holes are a nightmare at the moment. The muddy paws that come tearing into the house also isn’t pleasant. Thankfully we have some wood floors, but there is also carpet, and this is what I was treated to this morning just after washing the floors. Thank goodness for my steam cleaner.
When my floors get muddy, and I step in water in the kitchen where she has gotten excited with the water bowl, or when I find pieces of chewed up tennis ball after I leave the room for a minute, it’s worth it to walk back in and see this.
Remember every breed of dog is different so do your research before inviting one to share your home. It’s easy not to see beyond the cuteness of a puppy, but they don’t stay a puppy forever. I can’t wait for Lola to grow out of the puppy stage personally, but despite her behaving worse than a toddler most days, we wouldn’t be without her for the world, I just would have liked to have been better prepared when getting a puppy.
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