Totally had the pre-puppy jitters! It has been awhile since we had to train up a new dog and having two dogs in a tiny apartment is something to really consider.
Fail to plan, plan to fail
Totally cheesy, but absolutely true when it comes to adding a new one into the household.
We had to have "family meetings" to discuss how our lives would change and how we had to fit the pup's needs (and Vinnie's individual needs) into our routine.
We were very clear on having the pup toilet outside, so that requires a fair amount of commitment until the pup's bowels are able to hold for longer periods.
Travel plans are put on hold for the next six months, until we stabilise the household and the new routine.
Definitely a sacrifice, but it's important for us to get things set off on the right tone.
I always tell clients, better to "suffer" the first few years and have a dog that is reliable for the rest of its life - as long as you are consistent with the habits!
In this post, we will talk about the 3 main things that we concentrated on for the first few weeks in settling @iam.hungree into our home.
This was vital in keeping her safe and well rested. She he was like a young child, who got cranky if she did not get enough rest!
We worked on conditioning her to like her crate, giving her chews and feeding her inside. We also randomized the length of time and time of the day, of when she would be resting in there. The crate needed to be a place she chilled and rested in, becoming her absolute safe haven.
For the first 1 to 2 weeks, we kept her routine as consistent as possible. This was to help condition her body to eating, drinking and going to the toilet at particular times of the day. Timings typically did not change within 30 minutes of the planned times to rest, eat, walk, play and train - all the puppy things that need to be done to keep her mentally and physically stimulated!
Plenty of positive reinforcements were given when she went to the toilet outside.
Once she got the idea that crate meant rest, leash meant fun adventures and grass was the toilet - we moved to more of a routine, where we could play around a little more with the timings of each task that needed to be done with the dog. This allows the dog to become more flexible when you have to change up some of their schedule. The reality is, most of us might have changes in our lives and the dog would eventually need to learn how to work around that!
Integrating with Vinnie
Vinnie is a "senior citizen" with close to 13 years under his belt. He still acts and plays like a young pup but he is very human centric.
Definitely not a fan of a young puppy going up all in his face.
Thus, we ensured that we advocated for him and gave him reprieve from the scatter brained happy go lucky puppy!
We kept things as neutral as possible, with the two dogs learning to chill around each other and we expanded her energy around Vinnie by going for walks or letting them run along side each other in a dog run.
Counter intuitive to most owners with multiple dogs, it is important to have separate bonding time with the individual dogs. This ensures that the dogs do not have co-dependency on each other.
We kept it as simple as possible, knowing that it is very overwhelming for such a young puppy to go from her comfort zone of her 5 acres of farm with her siblings and extended family to the bustling city life in Singapore.
We are so thankful to have her join us in our pack and we cannot wait for the adventures that await us.