If you have always wanted a dog and have finally succumbed to bringing a new puppy home, read this. You may find as a new pet owner that you are facing a whole set of new challenges. You likely have a dose of the puppy blues. Read this article to learn some top tips from experienced pet owners on how to deal with this phenomenon.
What are the Puppy Blues? Tips for coping with it
No one said raising a puppy was easy. You need to be very committed and have a lot of patience for it. It is not uncommon for puppy owners to be hit by puppy blues during this process.
You might go through a worrying time with your puppy. You might wonder if the biting, jumping, lunging, and chewing will ever stop. Perhaps you are even doubting the idea of getting a puppy in the first place.
What are the Puppy Blues ?
The term puppy blues describes the not-so-positive feelings many people can go through when a puppy arrives. This can be due to the negative experiences faced after bringing a puppy home.
There are new challenges to handling the puppy blues. It’s like having a new baby in the house. The fun and excitement of the initial days of picking out puppy names, toys, and other accessories for the new puppy soon wear off. This leaves many puppy owners feeling overwhelmed.
Many pet parents end up contemplating returning the puppy to the breeder or rehoming it as they are unable to bond with it due to the puppy blues. Some reasons why people would be experiencing this feeling are:
- Your puppy just won’t stop the incessant barking.
- The puppy is destroying things in the house by chewing whatever it can.
- The house is a total mess as your puppy just won’t take to toilet training.
- You’re worried that the puppy might turn on you or your kids as it growls every time you go near its food or toys.
- Your puppy just keeps nipping and biting you most of the time.
Here are a few solutions to these problems that you can try out before giving up on your puppy.
A barking puppy
Barking is a common method dogs use to communicate, although excessive barking will cause the owner to get stressed out. A few reasons for the dog to be barking excessively might be:
- Boredom could be a factor.
- It might be seeking attention.
- Over-excitement is a common problem.
- Do you think your puppy is feeling threatened?
- It might be looking out for strangers.
- Perhaps your puppy is afraid of being left alone.
– What to do about the barking
You can try to close the curtains so that your puppy can’t see outside and start barking at strangers. Reward their good behavior when they are calm and not barking, and ignore them when they are barking for attention.
Try to keep the puppy in a calm and quiet environment as this will help them to calm down. A visit to the vet will address any physiological issues that might be causing your puppy to bark incessantly.
Puppy chewing everything in sight
Innately, puppies will want to chew on things that they are not supposed to. This may be caused by your puppy teething, which is an uncomfortable process where the gums get itchy and hot, making the puppy frustrated enough to bite and chew things to get rid of the discomfort.
– What to do about the chewing
You can give your puppy teething-type toys that they can chew to minimize the discomfort.
Frozen or cold veggies also have the same effect, while it’s also a healthy snack. Puppies chew out of being bored too when you leave them alone to go to work. You can address this issue by taking long walks or playing more enriching games to keep its boredom at bay. This may well help bring a better balance to the behaviour.
If you can manage the additional cost, you can also try dropping your puppy off at a doggy day-care so that it does not get boring.
Toilet Training challenges for a puppy
It can be frustrating when your new puppy decides to make your home its new toilet. Many people say this is the main source of their own puppy blues. This stage can damage the carpets, beds, and furniture. You just need to be patient and cut them some slack as they have just been introduced to a totally new environment.
– How to tackle toilet training
Try out ways to keep your house clean by researching online for products that will help with the mess. You can get a puppy bell to hang on the door handle.
You need to ring the bell every time you go out. Make sure your dog associates going out to the toilet with the bell ringing. If you do this long enough, your pooch will eventually nudge the bell when it needs to go out for its business. You can just scoop your dog up and take it outside after it woke up from a nap or has eaten a meal.
These are the usual times when it will need to go. Just be patient with your dog, and do not scold it, as it won’t understand what it did wrong.
A puppy wants to guard property and possessions
When your dog gets protective over something, it is known as resource guarding. It can be the puppy’s toys, treats, or food. It might even be a particular piece of furniture, place, or person.
The dog will start to bark or growl if someone gets too close to the item that they feel protective of. It wants to define its territory and wants everyone off its space. You need to designate a place in your home so that your puppy can feel safe by retreating to it and being left alone.
If you have kids in your home, this tip will come in handy more as the puppy might feel overwhelmed by the children and might want to escape to that quiet place.
– What to do to manage puppy guarding behaviour
Instruct your children or other members of the family not to approach the puppy when it is in its special place. It needs to be left alone at those times.
Guarding its resources is common among dogs. You just need to be patient, and if you see the aggression level of the dog getting too severe, consult a professional.
Many people especially struggle with biting and this can lead to the puppy blues. Puppies most commonly bite when they are going through teething. This phase can last anywhere between six to eight months. The bites and nips can be pretty painful as their teeth are sharp.
Puppies are likely to bite and nip at you when you are playing with them because they explore the world through their mouths; that’s just how they learn.
– How to train against biting
So letting out a loud yelp when your puppy bites you next will let it know that it has hurt you.
You can stop playing with them instantly and walk away, giving them the signal that they have done something wrong. Don’t overreact when you get bit, rather calmly show your dog that it wasn’t right for it to hurt you by biting you.
In summary – Dealing with the puppy blues can be done!
It’s easy to get frustrated with your puppy in the early days. You just have to be patient and follow the steps mentioned above. These tips will help you to live through these challenges. Once it’s done, you will have the best friend ever and enjoy the most amazing bond a parent can have with their pets.
Further reading on housesitting, petsitting and puppies
At Housesitmatch.com we like to share useful blogs and practical advice about housesitters, housesitting and pet sitting. We hope you find this small selection of our blogs on house sitters useful.