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REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS for bringing home your puppy


Copied from the Baxter & Bella curriculum: When puppies arrive in your home they are similar to a toddler. Think 2-3 years old. Short attention spans, lots of energy and crazy curiosity about anything and everything, especially things that move. They do sleep a lot (naps are normal) but when they are awake and out running around with you, it is all hands on deck. Normal puppy behavior includes: biting, mouthing, jumping, peeing, pooping, growling, pouncing, tackling, sleeping, barking, whining, chewing, digging, eating and more. It is our job to teach our puppy the rules of our home and how best to interact with us. They do not come knowing very many human rules, if any. They just spent the first 8-10 weeks of life with their litter mates doing puppy things. Some may have learned to sit for things they want. (Be sure to thank your breeder!) Some know what a crate is and already have a positive association with it (again, send a thank you to your breeder!) Others do not have any idea why they should spend time by themselves in a small space or how to wait for something they want. All normal puppy behavior. As for a heads up, plan on being in puppy mode for the first year plus. The good news is as you practice the training found in our program, each passing day gets easier and easier. Around 5-8 months you'll notice a change as your puppy enters adolescence (the teenage months). This brings added energy, fewer naps, less desire to be with you as the world suddenly seems super exciting and some testing behaviors as they learn more what will or won't work for them. From 12-18 months significant maturing happens as your dog grows into adulthood. Dogs are considered adults around 2-3 years. Keep in mind while we do not expect a human toddler to exhibit adult behaviors anytime soon, your puppy is young and learning. Training takes time and a lot of that is necessary for attention spans to lengthen, stamina to increase and patience to develop. We can help your puppy be well-behaved, exhibit impulse control, wait patiently for things they want and follow your lead with a nice loose leash but keep your expectations realistic recognizing the stage of the life they are in. Yes this takes time, practice and persistence, but we are here to help and encourage you all along the way. With puppies, we want you to be aware of common misconceptions, misunderstandings, pitfalls and even problems to help you along your training journey. Don't worry, we also offer you solutions and things to try as you work to help your puppy through the growing up process. As you work through our curriculum, feel free to jump forward to lessons you may need now. Looking through the Table of Contents will help familiarize yourself with the topics covered so you know where to look when you have questions.

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