Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Puppy Parenting: Week One in Review

So, as many of you may know DRB and I have become the proud parents of Beauregard's Chocolate Penny aka 'Beau.'  He is a chocolate lab who we got from friends of ours' parents, The Haxthausens.  He is now 10 weeks old and over 15 lbs - and has a clean bill of health from our Dr. at Hockessin Animal Hospital

In the past week, all five of us (Beau, DRB, Lilly (Siamese 16 yo), Darby (Tabby 14 yo), and me) have had some major changes and adaptations, but over all its been a week filled with love, learning, patience and PUPPY!

Here are some of the things we learned/accomplished:
Transporting Pets - A long plane ride (including a lay-over in Houston) from Louisiana to Philadelphia makes for sad, scared puppies. Huge kudos to Continental Airlines for taking good care of him while on the flight.  And thanks to PetRelocation.com for putting me in touch with the right people at PHL to figure out where to pick him up!

Crate-training - not so much.  The first night we put him in the crate we borrowed from Odin's parents.  He howled for 3 hours straight, late into the evening.  My ear plugs worked pretty well to muffle the sound, but DRB had none and between the threat of the neighbors calling the police and the insanity created in your head by puppy barking, caused him to break down and let him out of the crate.  Under some good advice from a long-time dog owner/trainer, we started feeding him in the crate to get him to realize - crates are good!  That's where you get yummy food!

House-breaking is a process! - We thought we had him housebroken and during the week he was!  The weekend hit and as our schedule relaxed and became less rigid and routine, so did Beau's.  That didn't work out so well and resulted in some accidents on the kitchen floor.

Puppies need exercise! - I think we are both going to lose weight with this dog.  We are trying to take him on three long walks a day through our property and give him lots of "outside time" with playing in the yard.  We've started him on retrieving a chew toy after learning that sticks aren't very visible to puppies when they land far away in the grass.  We also took him on about a 3-4 mile hike on Sunday.  It included learning to swim, splashing in the Creek and following his new best friend Odin everywhere! 

Puppies are NEEDY! - Wow, having raised two cats, I didn't realize that little itty bitty baby puppies have lots of insecurities and need lots of love and attention.  Little Beau is quite a snuggle bunny and tries hard to be a lap dog.  Right now, we are letting him get a little lap time and carry time, but we will wean him off that as he gets bigger - which is soooo soon!

Many people have asked how the cats are adjusting to having the new addition in the house.  We took many precautions to be sure that the cats we able to acclimate slowly and didn't feel left out.  We have a puppy gate up separating the first floor from the rest of the house to give the cats "safe space" in their favorite area.  We are coaxing them down to the first floor by feeding them on the steps - where they can see Beau. 
They have quickly learned that the gate protects them.  Darby has ventured down to the landing and been nose-to-nose with Beau.  There was some hissing and Darby put Beau right in his place by smacking him hard right on the nose.  While I am sure it did not hurt and Darby doesn't have claws, it sure scared the little guy!  He yelped as if someone had stepped on his tail and then cowered between my legs for protection.  It was sweet.  Since Darby continues to venture back to observe the new family member, I'm sure each will get enough courage up to eventually become fine friends.  Lilly on the other hand has become completely content to rule the 2nd and 3rd floors and never leave her kingdom.

Well, its time to take him out again.  This week, we are learning to "ring the bells" when he has to go out.  Off to practice!  More next week.  Stay tuned...


  1. Oh, what a cutie! I'm trying to talk my husband into a second pup, but he says not until we get an actual house.

    Crate training was a long process for me, too. Tonks took a while, but she got it over all. Now, though, we've succumbed to the cute puppy eyes and she sleeps with us.

    On "trick" I loved about crate training was - when the dog gets older and you're scolding him, if he runs into the crate, that's his safe place - no more scolding. Tonks sure learned to love her crate when she figured that one out.

  2. So glad that Beau made it to you safely - and happy we could be of assistance!

    Rachel at PetRelocation.com
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