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If only I knew then what I knew now...

1408 Views 12 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  parus
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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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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