We are at the one month mark of our new adventure with the furriest member of our family - a golden-doodle puppy named Daisy! She barely fit in our lap, but has already stretched out into an armful! We grew up with dogs, but since it has been a few years since an energetic four-legged curiosity generator ran down our halls, we have forgotten what it's like to puppy proof a home. We are NOT dog trainers, but we are dog lovers and we have been asking a lot of questions to friends and neighbors to figure out exactly what we are supposed to do. Luckily, the advice comes free, even if the lessons and the clean-up turn out to be expensive (no more wicker baskets for us).
Ah....yes, the puppy teeth are made for chewing! That means everything in your home just became a target. Remember "my dog ate my homework?" Well....that actually happened last week....twice. Shoes are like coveted idol's from an Indiana Jones movie, as Daisy scurries away with her prize. But we can deal with all that. It's the curtains, and blinds, and the wicker baskets that are no-more. So we are taking a multiple technique approach of positive and alternative reinforcement. We found some great chews to occupy her need that are not made of rawhide (which can cause digestive issues and even cause problems with some dogs). Her favorite so far is a Himalayan Dog Chew.
and to deter her from chewing the non-chewtoy items in our house (everything else), we were told to try a bitter spray. We found a few online, but we are fans of making things at home, so we might give that a try too. We saw Grannick's Bitter Apple on Amazon, and a Homemade Bitter Apple Spray on another fun blog.
This is where it pays to have ample cleaning supplies on hand! We have had more than a couple of accidents, and if I didn't know better, a few of those were outright defiant to make a point. Nonetheless, we are proud that our little golden-doodle puppy is making progress and seems to get the idea. We have been using Dandelion Daisy All Home Cleaning Spray to clean up after the messes, and the deodorizing properties prevents any issues with the hard wood floors and fabrics. For the blankets and bedding that had the unfortunate luck of being in her crate during the incidents in question, we promptly tossed those in the laundry (like you would with cloth diapers) and ran a load with Dandelion Daisy Natural Laundry Detergent. We like the peace of mind that it gives us knowing that the detergent rinses clean and doesn't contain unknown chemicals (no optical brighteners, no dyes, etc), because that furry golden-doodle is a member of our family too!
I can't say enough good things about the "Gentle Leader" as a tool for dog training. It helped us teach our old yellow Labrador (yes you CAN teach an old dog new tricks) how to walk without dragging a mom with a stroller. We started Daisy on the Gentle Leader, but you have to be careful not to start too early or you could hurt their muzzles. Check with your vet before starting with it.
Hey, we don't have it so tough after all:
Just one puppy really isn't all that, tough. We have a friend who had just a small litter five weeks ago - but three puppies are more work than one. When we finally saw pictures, though, we couldn't believe how fast the Chihuahua puppies had caught up to their mother in size. Until we learned that the dad is a St. Bernard. Yup. You read that right. A CHIHUAHUA AND A ST. BERNARD!!!!! They made the cutest puppies, and if you don't believe it, check their youtube video, they have been dubbed "St. Chihuahuas."