Hello all my two- and four-legged friends!
I hope you’re having a great week and had a truly wonderful Easter (and got to search out some yummy goodies!)
One of our neighbors just recently got a new puppy to replace a Boxer in his fur family that he had to lead to the Rainbow Bridge. The new dog is black and fluffy with longish fur and white markings on his chest and toes…and from a distance you might think it’s a Newfie puppy. Mom seems to think the dog is pretty adorable; but when she reached down to pet him, she remembered all the things that made her cry during our first two days alone in the house when I was just a puppy. Cause I might have been cute to look at from a distance; but I was not so cute when I was eating your hands!
1. They have the sharpest teeth ever!
Puppy teeth are seriously like tiny razors that will shred anything they come into contact with — especially your clothing and hands. Within a week, I had put holes in every pair of mom’s pants, scratched up her hands really well and chewed through a couple of leashes. Thankfully for the humans, I didn’t have much interest in eating shoes or furniture — but if there was nothing else to go for, I’d give it a once over.
2. They NEED training. You can’t just leave them to fend for themselves and hope all goes well.
A classic example of this are the two dogs that live next door to us. The humans brought them home at about 8 weeks old, and then they just let the dogs have free reign of the outdoors. As a dog, that’s an awesome gig. But for the neighbors who have survived the last year of two dogs barking for 18 hours straight every day — not so cool. The same goes for waiting for them to grow out of the jumping up stage, the challenging you stage and so on. We won’t outgrow it if you don’t train us. And sometimes that means doing it over and over again.
3. There will be potty training troubles.
No matter how many times you walk a puppy during the day, there are going to be accidents. Hopefully you’ll have the puppy in an area where there isn’t any carpet to soil, but you’ve got to constantly keep an eye on them so you can scoop them up and cart them outside if they look like they’re trying to figure out where to relieve themselves of the whole bowl of water they just drank.
4. You will have to establish yourself as the alpha dog…or else.
Whoever will be spending the most time with the dog should be in control and the alpha. But it can also be someone else in the family — just as long as it’s not your dog! Otherwise we will totally rule the roost, kick you out of bed and eat your dinner. I still fight mom for the alpha position on a regular basis.
5. Anything you leave out is fair game as a chew toy.
Most people learn this the hard way…but if you leave a pair of shoes, a toy, a chair, or whatever out in our area, expect that we’re probably going to eat it. Puppies constantly need something to chew on. So if you don’t give them toys to devour, they’ll use whatever else is around, from the stairs to your books to you.
6. You can’t trust them alone for even a second.
Us Newfies tend to be very headstrong, and if you start to think that we’re perfect angels, you need to expect that things are about to go horribly wrong. Because we’re probably plotting how we can cause mass destruction in just a small amount of time. Like eating a couple bags of flour (I never did that thankfully) or how to get those steaks off your plates when you’re not looking (guilty) or what is required to make sure your sunglasses or cell phone will never be usable again.
7. Unless you wear them out, you will never get any peace and quiet.
Puppies NEED exercise. So you either need to be prepared to walk them 3-4 times a day or run around with them in the yard a lot. Newfie puppies should only go on short walks when they are little — something like 1 minute for every week of life until they hit about 6 months old. But even those short walks with all the new things to see and explore will usually wear us out!
8. Sometimes the only way to save your sanity is to beat your head against the wall.
In the words of Mom, “Puppies suck.” You just have to have patience, keep up with the training and hope for the best.
9. If you have another older dog, they may think you are pushing them out of the pack.
Sometimes bringing a puppy into your home can make your older dogs resent the whipper snapper (which may mean you have any easier time putting the pup in its place)…but you may also cause the older dog to feel neglected because they don’t get as much attention. Even yelling at a dog is considered attention, so just be sure to love your dogs of all ages equally.
10. There are hundreds of dogs in local rescue associations and shelters that are already trained who would make great pets.
Now if you’ve got kids or other pets, it can be tricky to adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue…but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You just might need to look around more. And heck, they do have puppies in places like that too. But if you don’t want to deal with the puppy crazies, a more mature dog that you can give a great rest of his life to may be better for you.
By the way, there is apparently no interest at all in getting a puppy here. Unless maybe the humans came across a Landseer pup on the street that is 10 weeks old or so. Cause they are just too plump, furry and cuddly, making all rational thinking head out the window…
On the other hand, I left enough of a bad puppy impression on mom that she may never get another puppy — ever. 😉
Slobbery kisses for you all (and go check out more top 10 fun at Many Little Blessings)!