Hey friends! Happy Monday. Hope you had a great weekend. I know you are all on pins and needles….about our adventure….and all I can tell you is I have no clue! Here is low down: We had producers from the Food Network here last week. They are searching for a kitchen to use for a series. Our home was referred to them by our neighborhood sales office (they follow me on social media….so they knew our space may qualify.) The show they are taping would set up camp in our kitchen for 3 weeks worth of taping. All I know as of this hour is that we are still being considered. I have no idea who is is between….but I can tell you this…it has already been a complete thrill just to be considered. The producers were very complementary of our style, home, and all the personal touches that we have brought to this home. They truly loved it…and that feels like winning to me:) I’ll be sure to keep you posted:) Until then….let’s talk pups…:)
Stella is our third golden retriever. I think that puppyhood is a lot like in infancy…you tend to forget all of the work it involves because the cuteness overloads you! I do feel like Stella is probably the smartest dog that we have had. Coincidence but it is the first girl dog? Probably not! I did do some research and have found several things that I think are very beneficial to have when you have a new puppy in the house.
All of these things we have been trying out for the past 6 months most of them can be found at your local pet store or online. Some of these things I have used in the past and are proven to work other things are new finds that have been really helpful in training Stella. I think the key to training any dog is consistency and patience. You can have all the tricks and tips in the world but if you don’t have patience time and consistency it’s not going to work. And side note I am NOT a dog trainer I don’t proclaim to be one but this is our third Golden Retriever and I feel like we do have a few things in our back pocket that might help you if this is your first dog.
Puppy training pads are great for crate training. Stella did great in a crate and only peed in it the first two nights she was home. Puppies typically learn quickly that if they don’t want to lay in their own waste…they will need to go outside. Positive reinforcement when they go potty outside and small treats…the puppy will learn quickly that you want them to relieve themselves outdoors. Puppy pads make that training go that much smoother…easy clean up too! Puppies should learn to respect small areas at a time: a crate, then graduate to a small laundry room with a baby gate…then graduate to a bit more room…etc. They will learn to respect the small space you allow, and eventually your home. Stella was in a crate at night and when we left home until she was 4 months. She then moved to the laundry room with a baby gate.
Toys that have lots of sounds and textures are very intriguing to puppies…just like babies. You want to keep several different styles of toys to keep them interested. If they aren’t interested in their own toys…they will start to wreak havoc with YOUR toys…no bueno!
All American and Made in the USA Bully sticks that are LOW odor are great for busy teething mouths. You want to look for NO rawhide (which is terrible for puppy and dog tummies)…look for NO odor….and be sure they are made in the USA (which you should look for when it concerns any dog toys.) The bully stick is our go too toy when we see that Stella is in a chewing mood….very digestible and a perfect chew to keep her busy for awhile. Keep in mind…too many and they will easily gain weight.
We are still trying to help get Stella used to the car. The motion of the car can be hard to some dogs to get used to. We have learned by trial and error that Stella can do short trips (under 30 minutes)…on an EMPTY stomach…and she does best with the windows half way down. This seatbelt for a collar ensures she doesn’t try to jump the seat and it keeps her secure.
Stella loves this ball treat game. You can place several small treats inside….and the puppy will figure out to roll it around to get the treats to come out. A mental game that wears them out! Love it!
We have Stella in our laundry room now. She graduated from the crate when she was about 4 months. She has the run of the house when we are home. When we leave…she has a bed and a couple toys in her room. I place a baby gate up and a curtain. This is where she sleeps at night. We have another baby gate at the stairs because I don’t like her to be up there by herself….and she sometimes will sneak up there when I’m not looking.
If you don’t provide enough “entertainment”…like walks and toys and games of fetch….your puppy can easily destroy your home. Keeping their minds and bodies busy is the key to raising a happy and well behaved dog.
For potty training and leash training….I have used these treats by Zukes. I like that they are small…and not too many calories…and the main ingredient is chicken. Stella loves the sweet potato too:)
The Healthy Edible bones are another great chew for busy teething days. Stella loves the chicken and the roast beef. They are easily digested and great for puppies.
Nylabone also makes a chicken flavor teething ring. I always have a few of these in the freezer. Stella also loves ice! When she was real young we gave her ice cubes often.
For correction….when we just need to get her attention…we have a few soda cans filled with pennies and duct taped on the top. The noise gets her attention…while we shake it we say NO and give her something else to chew on. The other thing she dislikes is water being sprayed in her face. Lately she has been a little stubborn on her walks and I have had to spray water in her face to get her to keep walking. It usually does the trick.
We have about 30 toys…some soft, some hard, some chewy….just depends on how she is feeling….but she has used all of them. I rotate them so they are new to her. They are furniture insurance! They only thing she is really drawn too that I have to watch is the white wicker furniture on our screened in porch. I put silver duct tape on the legs and that have deterred her for the most part…
Like I said before….training and caring for a puppy is work. The rewards are great….but the work is hard. Do not go into pet ownership thinking they can be brought home and just raise themselves. They are looking to you for guidance and leadership. When you give them your time and patience….they will reward you three fold. Our home is not a home without a dog….and Stella…is definitely our third baby. I am positive that my Putter approves:)
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