Raising a puppy can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it’s also important to be prepared for the challenges that come with it. While you may have some ideas what puppy raising will be like, the reality is often very different which can lead to feelings of stress and overwhelm. Today, we’ll explore puppy raising and the reality vs. the expectations, as well as offer some tips for managing the ups and downs.
Five Realities vs. Expectations of Puppy Raising
Expectation: Puppies are cute and cuddly and will love you right away.
Reality: Puppies require a lot of work and attention, especially in the beginning. They may be fearful or nervous in their new surroundings and may take time to warm up to you. It’s important to be patient and allow your puppy to adjust to their new home at their own pace.
Expectation: Puppies are easy to train, will quickly learn commands, and continue to learn at a steady pace.
Reality: Puppies require consistent and patient training, which can take months. They may have accidents in the house, chew on furniture, and bark excessively. It’s important to set realistic expectations and be prepared to put in the time and effort to train your puppy properly.
Expectation: Raising a puppy is always fun and enjoyable.
Reality: Raising a puppy can be stressful and overwhelming at times. The responsibility of caring for a puppy can be challenging. Things such as house training, providing mental and physical exercise, general care, and training your puppy can feel like a full-time job. Some days can feel like too much when your are juggling responsibilities like work or family. It’s important to take breaks when you need them and not feel guilty for needing some time for yourself.
Expectation: All puppies are the same and progress at the same rate.
Reality: Each puppy is unique and will progress at their own pace. Comparing your puppy’s progress to someone else’s can lead to feelings of inadequacy or frustration. It’s important to focus on your puppy’s individual needs and celebrate their progress, no matter how small. It’s equally important to remember training takes time and patience, and it’s not a linear process. Don’t compare your puppy’s progress to someone else’s.
Expectation: Puppies will always be happy, and you envision spending long hours playing with your puppy, cuddling with them on the couch, and taking leisurely walks together.
Reality: Puppies, like humans, have good days and bad days. They may be tired, frustrated, or trying to find a way to have their needs met. These things can affect their energy levels and behavior. Puppies bite, jump up, can easily become overstimulated, and cause overwhelm with all of the puppy predicaments. It’s important to be understanding and patient with your puppy and give them the space and time they need to rest and learn how to navigate their new world.
What are the ‘Puppy Blues’?
One common experience among all my puppy parents is the “puppy blues”. In spite of loving your puppy you might develop feelings of sadness or overwhelm. The “puppy blues” are real and can come from the stress and responsibility of caring for a puppy. At some point everyone wonders if bringing a puppy into the home was a good idea. Some people even have moments of regret. This is a common, as the demands of caring for a puppy can be overwhelming, and the adjustment to a new routine can be challenging.
It’s important to recognize that this is a real and normal experience and to reach out for support from friends, family, or a professional if needed.
Four Things to Expect When Bringing Home a New Puppy
So, what are reasonable expectations for raising a puppy? Here are a few:
- Puppies require time and attention: Be prepared to spend time playing with and training your puppy. They need exercise, mental stimulation, and socialization to develop into well-adjusted adults.
- Puppies will make mistakes: Accidents will happen, and puppies will chew on things they shouldn’t. It’s important to be patient and consistent with training and to offer plenty of positive reinforcement for good behavior.
- Puppies need routine and structure: Establishing a routine for feeding, potty breaks, and training can help your puppy feel secure and confident in their new home.
- Puppies need management: Supervision is key to puppy raising. Having gates, expens, and a crate are essential for when you can’t actively watch your puppy.
In conclusion, raising a puppy can be a challenging but rewarding experience. It’s important to manage your expectations and be patient with your new furry friend. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or stressed, remember that the “puppy blues” are a common experience. With time and consistency, your puppy will grow into a happy and well-behaved companion with a loving bond that will last a lifetime.
Is the reality of life with your new puppy crashing against your expectations? Get help with your puppy blues now!