I Wish I'd Known...

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I Wish I'd Known...

This is a discussion on I Wish I'd Known... within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Hello again, everyone! I have noticed by lurking on a few forums that there are many puppy owners, such as myself, who come here seeking ...

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Old 01-06-2013, 05:14 PM
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I Wish I'd Known...

Hello again, everyone!

I have noticed by lurking on a few forums that there are many puppy owners, such as myself, who come here seeking help after problems have already arisen, when a lot of these questions can be prevented if we just had the experience some of you veterans have!

Often times, we know the basics, the stuff you can find in books and on the internet, but I started this thread to help out all of us first time puppy owners in the stuff that you can only know because you've gone through it before.


For example, if I'd only known that you should pick up water before 6 pm...It would have saved me that 2 am trip out and a potential potty training set back!

I pick up Talos tomorrow, so I'm sure I'll have plenty of these in the next few weeks, but I'm really hoping to help out all of us first time puppy owners who just don't think of some things because we haven't had to.

So englighten us, veterans. If there's anything that you can think of that you just wish you'd known before you had to deal with it, let us know here!
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:21 PM
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I am no veteran, but I am a recent new puppy owner and these were things I wish I knew:

1) Seperation anxiety. We grew up with dogs but never experienced this in our dogs. Our new puppy will howl and whine if left alone initially, and it was only through counter-conditioning and desensitizing (which took up 24/7 of our two weeks time off) that it began to improve. Very time consuming, difficult if you have a job.

2) Lack of freedom to do whatever for awhile. We kinda expected this, but didn't realize to what extent. It does make you miss leaving your home whenever you want, to go to a pub with friends, have dinner, day out exploring etc. We experienced severe cabin fever for a bit.

3) Always expect to spend more money than you initially set aside for your puppy.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:50 PM
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It's been almost 2 decades since I had a puppy but I wished I'd known...

1. Puppy owners should have a large supply of cheap towels and a bottle or two of enzyme cleaner.

2. Ugh yeah, crate training is a good thing, even if you never actually leave your pup in it the crate training could help if you ever need your dog to stay overnight at the vets, or if you need to kennel it.

3. Don't expect to get much sleep the first few months.

5. For pups that think they are training for the Iditarod and you are the sled, no pull harnesses do work, choke chains and prong collars do not. My pup would pull on a choke chain till he sounded like a dog having and asthma attack.

6. Pet insurance is a really good investment.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:54 PM
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Always be gentle with a puppy. Gentle hands and gentle voice at all times is key to raising an emotionally confident and well behaved dog. Getting physically or verbally rough with a puppy will come back later as a fearful or aggressive adult dog.


Remember a young puppy is the equivalent of a human toddler. Keep your expectations for behavior in line with that. Let the puppy be a puppy... she is not a mini-dog.


Positive Reinforcement training methods are the best way to train and end up with a happy, confident, secure dog who does what you want out of joy, rather than fear or intimidation.

Avoiding coercive or intimidating training methods, greatly reduces the chances your dog will develop fears, phobias or behavior issues.

Last edited by Tess; 01-06-2013 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:54 PM
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Thought of another one...

7. Dominance based training, punishment based training, can do much more harm then good. It's best to use positive reinforcement training as much as possible.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:13 PM
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8. The importance of socialization--and how time-consuming it is.

9. How to make a flirt pole

10. Not all puppies sleep all the time.

11. About kikopup's YouTube training videos!

12. Clicker training really, really does work, promise, it is not just some faddish thing.

13. Your dog is not Ruined Forever if she has one accident in her crate, or if you get stuck at work and he is home alone for a six-hour stretch one day, or if you can't put up with the whining and nipping one night and stuff her in her playpen while you call a friend and cry about how you're a failure as a furparent.

14. That there are lots of heated opinions and not as much hard research on what food to feed your dog, and in the end it's most important to find something that YOU feel comfortable feeding (that you pup tolerates), whatever it may be.

15. Most puppies are not capable of "cuddling" for quite a few months. But it will come.

16. How totally, thoroughly, and unreservedly worth it it will be.

17. ...Eventually.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:02 PM
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This is fabulous so far, guys. Thank you so much. Even though I'm a newbie soon to be furparent, I think I'll add to the list from my research.

I'm hoping that this thread really takes off and is a great help to all of us, and perhaps if someone is on the fence about getting a puppy, this will help with not just A decision, but the RIGHT decision.

Also, @Ikoilo I just realized yesterday about the cabin fever thing. My friend's birthday is next week and I was like "I can't be a 21 year old and go out and party...oh well, that's the decision I made when I chose to get a puppy. :P" I really am sort of bummed about not seeing a movie I want to see next week though. Oh well. There are...other...methods. >>

18. All things must consider your puppy. Every time you want to go on a trip, stay out late. From point A. to point B. of your pup's life with you, you'll have to remember to make plans for him too.
(I also travel a lot, so that'll be on hold until he gets big enough to go with!)

19. You can't worry about everything, even though you'll want to. Pick and choose wisely.

20. Behaviors you encourage in a puppy are behaviors you'll see in a dog.

21. Fully stock before the puppy arrives. That way, you don't have to scramble when you need that last minute item.

22. Take the time to really teach your puppy his/her name.

23. Use prevention when it comes to unwanted puppy behaviors. She can't chew your shoes if you don't leave them out.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:28 PM
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24. (Forgot this one) That no matter HOW much you plan, HOW comprehensively you think you prepare, you will not, cannot get everything right or be the perfect furparent. Basically, to give yourself a break from time to time, if for no other reason than that you don't start resenting your puppy.

25. Take a bajillion pictures. Then take some more. Digital cameras/phone cameras are electronic miracles.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:23 PM
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26. Socialization - Quality over quantity!!
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:46 PM
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27. Get them used to nail cutting!!!! I've worked for 2 months getting Nola to let me cut her nails again.

28. Puppyhood doesn't last forever. Which is both happy and kind of sad.

29. Take a photo every week next to the same thing, so you can chart their growth.

30. Don't let yourself get bullied by a vet into unneeded vaccines or crappy food.
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