11-26-2014, 07:23 AM
Join Date: Nov 2014
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Don't know if the OP is reading this-- and as background, I pretty much zero expertise with dogs (grew up with them, had my own later), BUT, I will say that everything you're doing with your puppy now is a great way to be with your future children, should you decide to have them.
(1) Set realistic expectations. When you understand what falls in the range of accurately "normal," (not anecdotal views) often the amount and severity of perceived issues decrease.
(2) Each child/puppy is an individual and should be treated as such. Put aside what people have said about their children, be it sleeping through the night or potty training. People often remember their experiences very differently than what actually happened anyway, so comparing is a no-win situation.
(3) Positive always wins over negative (in almost all cases). It teaches the child/puppy what SHOULD be done versus just saying, "No, don't do that!" Being positive helps both the creature (human or dog) to understand that you are thinking about their motivations in the best way possible. You are both then likely to be less resentful, as you are coming from a place of working together as opposed to feeling threatened and angry for being challenged. Assume the best, but prepare for the worst (this applies to the dog especially due to safety.)
(4) Set the stage for success. For example, if you don't child-proof your home, the harder it is for your child to make the right choices. By creating a safe and appropriate environment, the opposite happens, and undesirable behavior is less likely to occur. Along with this goes the saying that, "Children who feel well, act well." Unless there is something amiss with wiring (in us all!) this is true. When we feel safe and loved, when we know what we should be doing, when we have what we need, we can relax and act our best because we feel our best.
(5) We are our children's and pets' protectors. They look to us for guidance, they trust us to make the right decisions. If others are thwarting our efforts (as in the case of your family), it up to us to step in and allow only positive events to occur. If not, then those people do not have access to our children or pets, period.
(6) Listen to your instinct. Our gut guides us-- not anxiety or frustration-- but we often know when something is right or wrong. Our instinct can help us seek out the right information in a sea of contradictory advice.
Best of luck and knowledge with your new puppy. Waking up a million times a night prepares you for having a newborn. Same for changing a baby's diaper or taking a dog out! (Newborns need their diapers changed constantly!) You'll be all set for both.