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If you've raised a dog from puppyhood:

What are the one or two things you most wish you'd have known before you even brought the pup home? (Useful tips, information about young dogs, must-have products, etc.)
 

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General:
A nice puppy collar that, yes, the puppy will outgrow but I will keep and cherish, forever.
To reward checking in with me, and to be careful never to poison that by doing something the puppy doesn't like after requesting their presence, even with an informal 'pup-pup-pup' or whatever. If the dog comes to me, good things are going to happen. If I need to do something the puppy's not going to lie, I go get the puppy (and pair it with rewards,too, but until then!)

Things I got right with Kiran but didn't the others?

Chill out. Relax. Kick back and ENJOY it. It isn't a race. There are no prizes for '12 week old who knows the most commands' or even '6 month old' or '12 month old' that does. Play training games that are fun for you and the puppy, so the puppy learns how to learn and get stuff from you and so you learn how your puppy thinks and responds and learns, but keep pressure off. **Play** training **games**.

Just plain play with your puppy. Get out in the world with them. Out in the world with them and at home, spend time observing and watching as well as, playing and interacting. They'll show you who they are, what makes them happy and what worries them, what's super fun and what's meh. They'll show you when they're ready for more learning and what they need to learn, if you pay attention.

And, seriously, on a theme, embrace both the puppy and the Baby Dog designations. Don't rush to 'grown ass dog' too fast. Don't expect it at 9, 12, 18, months old. Heck, don't even expect it at 2. Expect the puppy brain to be a puppy brain until they're 4. If they're not, great, but call 'em a baby dog, anyway, it'll help your mindset and help you keep perspective.
 

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Oh and *don't micromanage your puppy*. Yes, manage as much as necessary, but for the love of god remember that if the puppy/dog is highly focused on you, they are not truly being exposed to things you are trying to socialize/expose them to. If you are at the park working on tricks or tug, constantly asking them to engage with you, they are not noticing the kids or bikes in the park. You want to work engagement and distractions, yeah, but *don't think* you are socializing when you do this. Trips for exposure of things should have a lot less active involvement from you. (This is a thing I wish I'd learned with Molly - big time). The more handler focused your puppy is, the more important this 'back off and let 'em observe the world' thing is.
 

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it's normal , it will pass.. stay the course with what your doing showing and doing it with them waiting for it to catch up with them......
 

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Yes to everything CptJack and PatriciafromCO said!

I had more of an 'I wish' list for Soro than Brae. I wish I had a better understanding of training theory sooner. I wish I did not let the agility instructor put a prong collar on my dog, etc. Pretty much winged it with Soro and he turned out alright, but with a lot of hurdles in the beginning. With Brae, it was/is pretty easy. As in, there haven't been any moments where I'm thinking "what do I do now!?" Not to say that there are no frustrations or annoying moments! :)

I think it is really important to formulate your own list of what's important to you and behaviors you would find more challenging. For example, some people don't mind if their puppy chews up a few things on their way to maturity and will laugh about losing a slipper or two. Some people (like me) take each failure very personally and favor heavier management in the beginning. The hardest thing for me through Brae's puppyhood was the whining; it wasn't his fault at all and normal puppy stuff. But I didn't know I had misophonia that bad and ultimately slept with headphones/ambient sounds for the first few weeks. But for some people, it would have been a nonissue. Some people expect a few accidents through the first few months and don't mind being a little laid-back about supervision and cleaning messes. Some people obsessively set timers and have potty charts.

Really, it is pretty hard to truly "screw up" a puppy. If you have very specific goals like sports, developing bite, therapy dog, etc. Then a lot of the nuances become very important. But with good genetics, a good home, and the understanding that puppy-stuff will pass in trying times... Puppies grow up to be nice dogs.

GEAR... My indispensable puppy raising equipment included: crate, ex-pen, drape, collar, harness, long line, bite rag, Kong (and other food toys). Maybe some ear plugs. Oh, and a good cleaning spray.
When teething started, I had a collection of durable rubber toys, nylabones, antlers, hooves, bones, etc. Well, I had those before teething started. Pup just didn't have the attention span or ability to self-entertain until then :D

All that aside... I'm very excited for you parus! Can't wait to see the puppy photos!
 

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I agree with everyone's advice given so far.
I wish I would of had my Vet's cell number. (I have it now) :)
Arrange to have someone take a middle of the night potty shift
at least once in awhile so you can sleep.
Let another family member or friend come in to feed puppy sometimes.
My first puppy wouldn't eat unless I was the one who put down the bowl.
Makes it hard if you have to leave them for a day.
And to repeat what CptJack said, Enjoy and have fun with your puppy.
They grow up way too fast.
 

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I wish I had avoided puppy play classes with my 1yo. You had to hold your pup on your lap when it wasn't their turn, and she did NOT like that one bit... and now she's leash reactive :(

(I do realize that it's not common and it's probably her genes, but still. Tried to do everything right and it just made things worse).
 

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I would absolutely go back and make myself take more puppy pictures.

I would love to go back and tell myself it's going to be okay. Even with my highly-reactive boy we'll handle it and it will be fine. You'll love those pups more than anything. I think if I'd been less anxious about behavior and could have relaxed a bit more some things would have been easier to deal with or even prevent.
 

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If only I had known that Kane was going to be a fearful and reactive dog and that he and Pepper would not always get along.

If only I had stressed less about Pepper's excitability when she was a puppy.
 

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Letting a puppy meet every other dog possible on leash is not good socializing.

Unstructured puppy playdates with a lot of puppies in a relatively small pen without decent monitoring of behavior isn't good socializing.

It's more important that a young puppy learns how to learn, and that it's fun, and that you're fun, than they learn specific behaviors and manners to 100% reliability ASAP.

Try not to panic and stress and obsess over every little thing ("is it normal for puppies to hiccup?!!?!") so much that you can't enjoy the good parts.
 

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If you've raised a dog from puppyhood:
What are the one or two things you most wish you'd have known before you even brought the pup home? (Useful tips, information about young dogs, must-have products, etc.)
I wish I'd known (in my case, remembered) how exhausting a new pup can be. This time, I'm home 24/7 so I thought things would be easier. Wrong! Maybe getting a new pup is like childbirth. You forget about all the pain after your child is born -- until you go into labor with the next kid!

Tips from a new pup owner:
**Get another family member on board to help with cleaning up messes and/or potty runs. At least two nights a week I've had to enlist my son to cover the 8p-10p meal & potty trips and put her in the kennel afterward so I can get some sleep before she wakes for a middle of the night potty trip.
**Be sure you add an extra $1,000 into your budget for unexpected vet visits the first year. My last pooch had an allergic reaction to his shots and a couple months later, after several vet visits, was diagnosed with epilepsy and needed regular medication. My new pup has a bladder infection that didn't clear up with meds and has been referred to a costly specialist. We'll find out tonight how costly. I'm expecting to come home minus an arm and a leg.
** If you plan to get pet insurance, get it ASAP before the pup can be diagnosed with any preexisting conditions. Also know that most pet insurances do not cover well visits or vaccinations.
** Try hard to listen to what your puppy is telling you. I'm having a tough time with this one. Slowly, I'm realizing (often too late) that my pups barking is her attempt to communicate with me (ie: I don't want to be in this room alone; I need to potty; I pottied in my playpen and need it cleaned up ASAP.)

Must-have items:
Crate
2nd Crate for the car (I don't have but wish I did)
Playpen (aka: exercise pen; x-pen)
Paper towels (lots and lots of them!)
An easy to rinse floor mop
Chew toys (several different types -- I'm working, with minimal success, to get my girl interested in chewing on her holee roller ball and a set of rubber keys. The nylabone wishbone is too large and way too hard. She has no interest in it at all.)
Bully Stick (the ONLY thing my girl is guaranteed to chomp on -- besides hands, feet and clothes)
DIY flirt stick (mine is a 3/8" dowel rod, sturdy 1" ribbon and a small knotted tug rope that I tie to the end of the ribbon. I tie it with a half knot. I like that she can eventually "win" it after a few good rounds of catch & tug; I'll make another later from PVC, rope and some larger tug toy on the end.)

I really like CptJack's comment about NOT calling the pup for something he/she won't like. Excellent advice that I'd not read anywhere else. I'm going to start training myself to do this.
 
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