Bringing Cooper into our lives has been such a blessing. I have fully embraced being a full-on “dog mom” now and that little guy fully has my heart forever. Watching him learn new things every day, find his personality and voice, and all of the cuddles and rollovers for belly rubs make all of the stained carpet, chewed items and training difficulties worth it. Today marks one month since we brought him home, so I thought I’d share some things that we’ve learned/realized in the past 30 days or so as new puppy parents.
- Patience is key. Some training will come easily, some will not. Sometimes a pup will regress. It’s all about positive reinforcement and patience, patience, patience. With both the dog and each other.
- No item is safe. As a colleague warned me: put everything in the closet or behind closed doors…everything. My $100 Michael Kors wedges? Yeah, he found those on week three after leaving them completely alone up until then. Let’s just say I didn’t have the stomach to fully evaluate the damage for two whole days.
- If you’re a first time dog owner with no kids…it’s not a dog, its your baby. This dog has become our child. He is our fur baby. We would kill for this pup. No joke.
- This puppy will steal your heart and you will become a full on dog mom. I came to some crazy dog mom realization that my little puppy had started growing and I was NOT taking enough pictures to capture every single puppy moment. So I now snap photos as if he were a real baby…like a crazy mother. (I apologize to my Facebook and Instagram friends for the puppy pic overload). And then that spiraled into realizing that when we do finally have children, I will most definitely be one of those moms. You guys, time goes by SO FAST.
- You will need to find you mom/dad voice. And you will find it much easier than you think – and it won’t be pretty.
- Consistency is so important. I can’t stress this enough. The same verbiage needs to be used, the same discipline, etc. If you’re raising the pup with a partner, get on the same page in the beginning and stick to it.
- Everyone will be giving you advice on how to raise your pup. And I mean everyone. While you should listen to what they have to say/offer because some of it may be useful, you do not have to take all of their advice. This is your dog and every single dog is different. What works for one dog/family may not work for yours and that’s okay! As long as everyone is healthy, safe and happy that’s all that matters.
- As hard as it may be, work to break any separation anxiety your pup has ASAP. Cooper definitely has separation anxiety, especially with me since he’s with me most of the time. He’s even gotten more clingy lately when I take him to the office. Crate training did not work for him at all, so we are trying playpen/fence training to see if a bigger area works better for him since he can’t be trusted freely in the apartment alone yet. So far, not so good, but I’m sure in time he will learn that we will always come back for him. I love the extra cuddles, but I know some independence is best for him in the long run. (And I’m sure it’s best for our sanity eventually as well!)
- Your privacy is gone, and you didn’t even have a kid! Cooper follows us into every room, and literally waits outside the bathroom door for me whining. And when I do my makeup, he sits on my feet. And the center of our bed has been taken up.
- Nothing beats unconditional love from your dog. When I cried at a sad movie the other day, Cooper stopped chewing on his bone immediately, put his paws up on the couch and whined until I let him up. He cuddled up to me right away. And when Cody comes home he gets down on the ground and Cooper climbs all over him, covering him in kisses. I wouldn’t trade that for the world. He’s the sweetest pup, and any dog with good owners is probably going to give the same sweet love. It’s the best thing ever.
We are so lucky to have such a sweet angel baby in our lives. I can’t imagine life without Cooper now and I can’t wait to make more memories with him and watch him grow!
Also, as I mentioned, I’ve become a full on dog mom and caved like my cousins and made Cooper an Instagram account. You can follow his adventures by following cooperpdoxie!
Related: Meet Cooper