Ok guys. I'm staging a come back! I think Fox and I are finally getting a plan and a schedule down for working with and around each other! So I thought I would share some of the things that I've figured out living with Fox.
First, I want to talk about how we got Fox way too early. Honestly, it was earlier than I would ever feel comfortable picking up from a breeder. But the fact was I wasn't getting Fox from a breeder. And it was made very clear to me that if I didn't get this puppy now while these people were pushing them out the door, then someone else who might not take the time and put in the extra care with him would take him home. Five weeks is WAY TOO YOUNG to bring a puppy home if you have the choice to wait. Your puppy hasn't been taught manners by his mom, can't really chew hard food yet, and will be extremely needy.
Which Fox was. At five weeks, Fox was waking up every hour or so, woke up in the morning incredibly hungry, and constantly wanted love and attention and cuddles every moment of the day. It was also extremely difficult to get him to kennel train as he would whine because he couldn't cuddle with someone else. So I stayed in the living room with him and slept right next to him in his kennel so that he could cuddle with my hand at night. And incredibly mouthy. All the time. Constantly biting and just didn't seem to figure out that we didn't want him biting us all the time.
So our first month with puppy is a little different than most. Most people will get their puppy at an older and less difficult age. Though I definitely can't claim that getting a puppy is ever easy. Sure, they are adorable, but they are incredibly difficult as well!
So here are a few tips to survive the craziest first month!
1| Exercise is Key!
Honestly, we didn't start seeing any real improvements in Fox's behavior until we started walking him daily. But as he got older, one walk with a few little runs just wasn't gonna cut it anymore. So now for a great attitude day, we go on two walks. One in the morning and one in the later afternoon or early evening. But it has worked wonders! It has helped with biting and him needing someone to entertain him all day long.
2| Patience, Patience, Patience
Getting angry just isn't going to cut it. Puppies require two times more patience than you think that you have. You have to stay calm. Be sharp when the situation calls for it. Tough love is important as well. If you are able to just let your puppy cry it out at night, its honestly the best thing for him. But that will take a lot of patience as well. Your mommy instinct to comfort will be put to the test when you just have to listen to your puppies cries. It still breaks my heart a little bit so I send some comforting shhhhh that I've been doing since we got him, and he usually goes to sleep in like a minute or so.
3| Take Naps Whenever Possible
Now that Fox is 9 weeks old, he is finally sleeping through the night! (And by through the night we mean from 10:30 to 6:30, maybe 7 tops!) But the first few weeks, he was up either every hour or every other hour and then demanding food and wide awake at 5:30 AM. We were sooo tired! And cranky. Tired people with hyper puppies are super cranky. So sleep whenever possible. Take turns waking up with the puppy to let him out (set alarms instead of letting him wake you up with whines!). Have one person watch the pup and let the other person take a nap. Honestly, raising a puppy in pairs is a million times easier than I feel like it would be on my own. So get someone in your corner to help!
4| Get Out and About
Being inside with your puppy all day can be harmful to you and your pup! Get out there and let other people take some of the energy out of your pup/ Go to a new park where you pup is distracted by needing to explore EVERYTHING. Take your pup to that store that lets you bring in your pet (our favorite is our local Runnings!) and let other people love on your pup. socialization at a young age is key to having a happy dog later.
5| Puppy Proof EVERYTHING
Don't expect your puppy to know not to get into something. And if you don't want something in your puppies mouth, keep it out of range of your puppies mouth! They explore EVERYTHING with their mouth. That's just how puppies are. So keep an eye on your pup and keep your shoes off the floor. :)
Having Fox has pushed me and Simeon's relationship to its limits. We've been snappy. We've been crazy in love with our little family. We've been just about everywhere at this point and I can only imagine that it will only get crazier. But we are loving every second of this roller coaster!