Puppy Blues

Let me start out by saying that puppy blues are a real thing. I am overwhelmed and anxious and crying at the drop of a hat.

I don’t seem to be able to manage having a puppy any better than I did an infant. At least he sleeps through the night, something my son didn’t do until he was around four and I discovered melatonin.

On one level, I realize he is just being a puppy. He needs more exercise and training time than I’ve been giving him, but I’m not sure what else I can do when I’m supposed to be working. I can’t just take him outside every time he whines or barks at me, and I can’t let him out of the office or he will potty on the kitchen floor no matter how often I take him outside.

I did change my work hours so I am done at 3:30 and can take him to the dog park before it gets dark. We went today and he seemed to enjoy it.

My friend suggested doggy daycare once or twice a week and that does sound heavenly – for both of us. I just have to decide if I can justify the expense. It would be really nice to have a break sometimes, especially on the days I have conference calls and am constantly trying to keep him quiet while I’m on the phone.

One other idea is crate training, which sounds good in theory but in practice is really overwhelming. Other areas that are really bad are leaving stuff alone that he’s not supposed to be chewing on and pulling very hard on his leash. For the one, he’s already big enough that I’m running out of places to put things where he can’t get to them and, for the other, I’m afraid he will pull me off balance and I’ll fall over.

I wish Joe could walk him because my legs acts up when I try to do it, but he gets home too late due to the involuntary overtime he has to work. Thankfully, Joe gets up with him in the mornings so I can sleep until 6:30. I am always desperate for more sleep and getting up early with the dog was adding more stress to the way I was already feeling.

Well enough venting for one day. Here are some pictures to remind me of how cute he is.

Our Week

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Monday

People aren’t kidding when they say having a puppy is like having a new baby! I am exhausted and overwhelmed by this experience so far. Because I work from home, he is with me all day long. And he generally wants to be where I am in the evening too, even if Joe or Michael is around.

We still can’t seem to get into a routine for potty breaks either. Today I started writing down what time I took him out and what he did. That made me feel a little more in control and we didn’t have any accidents in the house today.

I had forgotten how stressed out I was when I was a new mom, but this is definitely reminding me of that time in my life.

Tuesday

My friend Kim brought over her 8 month old Husky Ninja today to play with Baxter. They played almost non-stop for 3 hours and seemed to have a great time. After they left, Baxter collapsed for about a 3 hour nap to recover!!

I felt much better today, not as stressed out with him. I also have gotten a lot of work done the last two days, so that helps with my overall stress level as well.

Wednesday

Baxter was a bit whiny today and was barking like crazy during my conference call and I couldn’t mute him because I had to participate in the conversation. I think we are going to hit the dog park when I’m done with work. That way he can get some energy out before he has to go in the crate while we go to play D&D.

Thursday

We were supposed to have trick or treat tonight but it was rescheduled for tomorrow due to the weather. I couldn’t believe how hard it was raining. Baxter didn’t want to go out in it and ended up going in the house. Other than that it was a peaceful evening.

Friday

Lots of barking and hyperness today. Cold and windy today but thankfully no more rain. Trick or treat was tonight. Baxter seemed confused that we kept opening the door for people but no one came in and we didn’t go out!

Saturday

We had our final puppy class today. He’s really good at Sit and Down and Touch. Everything else is still a work in progress. He does okay on the leash for a regular walk but pulls like crazy when we walk around PetSmart. There are some other commands we learned that I haven’t practiced enough with him. I would like to take the intermediate class but I want to work on the things we learned in this class some more first. I’m thinking maybe we’ll do it in January.

Thanks for reading!

Eventful Days

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks since I last posted. Baxter was really not feeling well one night and had me super worried. His eyes were all red and he barely ate any dinner. Then he peed on the dining room floor and slumped to the floor a few minutes later. He also had two loose stools. By the next morning, he was doing somewhat better but I still took him to the vet to get him checked out.

The vet figured that he must have gotten into something in the yard that gave him an upset stomach. She wasn’t too worried because he was eating again and had more energy. She did find a yeast infection in his ears, though, so we had to put drops in twice a day for a week.

Puppy class last week was good. We started working on coming when his name is called. We had taken him to the dog park before class so he had expended some energy and was definitely better behaved during class. He is still one of the more hyper ones, but after seeing him so out of it just a couple of nights earlier, I can’t complain about his energy!

We’ve been to the dog park several times. They have two sides, for dogs under and over 30 lbs. Baxter is currently about 20 lbs, so we go in the smallest side usually. Once when our side was empty, the two people on the other side invited us over so he got to play with the big dogs. It’s great to see him running around with the other dogs.

I noticed this week that he is definitely growing. He is taller than when we brought him home and he is filling out. He still has a ways to go to grow into those paws though!

Puppy Training – It’s All About the Treats!

There’s a great article at PupBox on when to tackle different skills when training a puppy that I found very helpful. They also sent me this graphic with some helpful tips about using treats during training.

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I have definitely found that I have to switch things up when training Baxter. I can use low value treats or even dog food when training at home, but for puppy class, I need high value treats that are only available during that time.

So different from my cat, who just gets treats once a day, at bedtime, and prefers the same ones all the time. If I give him a different treat, he will usually throw them up!