1. Dogs do not do well in apartments. Craig and I live in a three bedroom apartment, we figured with the extra room Cooper would be fine. We did not consider the fact that every time Cooper needs to go potty we have to walk down two flights of stairs and lock/unlock doors to get in and out. When Cooper was just 6 weeks old, he whined a lot during the night which upset the neighbors and we had several complaints.
2. Kennel the puppy. I know this sounds cruel and mean, but leaving a puppy in an open space is like leaving a three year old in front of a gigantic chocolate cake...a mess is bound to happen. Today I came home to find Cooper had gotten a hold of my coasters and chewed them to shreds all over the carpet. Sometimes, even an open room is just to much for a puppy to deal with by its self.
3. Don't leave your socks or running shorts out in the open. Yes friends, Cooper got ahold of my beloved Nike tempo shorts...as gross as it sounds they are now officially crotchless.
4. Make sure you give your puppy adequate time to run around outside. When Cooper is in a kennel all day he has energy ready to burn. If I don't take him out on nightly walks, the apartment ends up looking like a tornado has hit it.
5. When taking your puppy on a walk, make sure you keep the leash close enough to you. Numerous times, I have made the mistake of letting Cooper go on a longer leash, this leads to jumping on young children and chasing birds. NOT FUN!
6. When potty training your puppy, puppy pads do not work. At least for Craig and I they did not. Many times I would come home and find potty pads all over the room shredded to pieces. They seemed to be just something to eat instead of potty on.
7. Leave the leash and shoes right by the door and take your puppy out every half hour. When Cooper was little, 6 or 7 weeks old, we found the only way to prevent accidents happening in our place was to take him out every half hour. Yes this is a chore, but it works until their bladder gets stronger.
8. Don't be afraid to punish your puppy with a time out in his kennel or a swat on the nose. Puppies need to know who is in charge. If they are not listening, treat them as if a young child would be treated. Give them a time out, use a firm voice and point to what they did and say "NO!"
9. Invest in some good cleaning products. You will need them! Dog slobber on the table and windows, running into the apartment after stepping in dog dodo (did not notice at the time), potty accidents, spilled drinks, etc. It all happens and it can be messy.
10. Be patient and loving. Most of all you need to remember that they are just a puppy and they are still learning. They will grow out of this stage (that is what I keep telling myself).
I hope you enjoyed my little puppy pep talk. In other news, Summer is HERE!! I am pretty pumped to spend some quality time with the pup and Cooper. Oh, and food wise I came across this pizza sauce the other day at the store and I am loving it!! I think I love it just because it is so much easier to use instead of having it out of a can. Have a great FRIDAY!!