Deciding to get a puppy is everything I expected and nothing I could have ever imagined at the same time. I was completely prepared and then suddenly right after getting puppy home it was as if everything I had been studying was erased from my memory.
On the day we were picking up the puppy, I was filled with excitement and anxiety. Excited because I've always wanted a puppy! Anxious because I was worried about a few things.
What if he pees in my husband's truck on the way home?
What if he cries all night?
What if he poops and pees all over the house?
What if he is scared of us or the house?
Throughout the day questions like this filled my mind and it was hard to focus on much else. Then the time finally came to pick up my pup! My husband and I gathered an old blanket and covered the back seat, grabbed a couple of puppy towels (just in case), and his collar. We arrived to pick him up and he came to me right away. He let me pick him up, started licking my face, and seemed very calm and happy. We got into the truck and started the short drive home. He was very happy; licking, sniffing, and cuddling.
Within the first five minutes of being home, he pooped and peed in the house. It was to be expected - he was in a new place! But it quickly snapped me into the reality of what it would mean to own a puppy. One second he's sniffing around getting used to his surroundings and then next, there's a stinky poo on your floor. After that, he did pretty well. He pooped and peed outside every time we took him, played with us, napped a lot, and ate well.
Bedtime was a different story. Because it was a new home and he had napped throughout the evening (something we quickly learned you do not want your puppy to do after 5pm if you want him to sleep most of the night) our puppy had a hard time staying asleep for the majority of the night. It made a rough next day full of naps for puppy and my husband and I. The next couple of days were full of training and puppy testing our authority.
To say the very least, there is only so much reading and research one can do. Yes, it was very helpful to do research in advance. If you're thinking about getting a puppy you should invest in a good book and look for some articles online written by trainers and find some videos of professionals on YouTube. Try finding people who are training the same type of dog you are because they all have different mannerisms. It helps to watch how someone acts with a puppy while training before you have your own. It has helped me a lot to read the book I have and look up articles, videos and even download pins on my phone!
The biggest lesson I've learned is, it's okay to take it slow. Accidents happen, they're inevitable! Just remember to always praise your puppy when he's doing good and give him all the love you can! It's also really nice to have a helping hand, like my husband. We help each other out; training the puppy together and encouraging each other when we're completely exhausted.
Puppy parenting has been a tiresome and stressful experience so far, but I have no doubt in my mind that this new addition to our family was the perfect decision. Welcome home, Arthas!