As a pup parent, you are sure to experience some miserable moments. Yes, dogs make you happy, and you love them more than anything, but they are also capable of driving you absolutely crazy. You will even have days where you question your own sanity.
So, before you lose your cool and threaten to send the furry beast "back to the shelter," read these 10 reassuring things every puppy parent needs to hear.
When the struggles of puppy parenting get you down, you feel completely alone, fighting a never-ending battle of fiery poops and chewed up shoes. However, there are millions of other dog moms and dads experiencing the exact same thing. Though all dogs are unique, most of them go through the same growth pains and training hiccups.
If you feel completely alone in the puppy waste-land, try reaching out to other parents on social media or forums. You can also find common ground with people at dog parks, beaches, and events.
Anyone with a dog has been where you are right now. Pulling your hair out is completely normal, but try not to rip out too many chunks. Being a dog parent is one of the most frustrating and trying tasks in life, but it is also the most rewarding. What you are experiencing is completely normal, and will eventually pass.
Reach out to other parents for some peace of mind.
No dog is perfect! Not even Cesar Millan's. The dogs you see on TV and in shows have been through more training than you could ever imagine and even they have bad days. No dog is capable of behaving perfectly at all times. They make mistakes just like we do.
Despite what pet-parents like to believe, their dog has no definition of "right and wrong." Dogs act based on urges and instinct, rather than society's view on morals. If your dog is misbehaving, chances are he doesn't even realize it.
You must set clear boundaries for your dog, and reinforce them. Teach him how to behave properly using positive reinforcement. Reward him for his good behavior and you will see a big change in his attitude.
Dogs go through phases, just like people. As a puppy develops into a young dog, he will experience all sorts of growth hiccups. Your pup is trying to figure out where he stands in the pack, and will start to display signs of dominance, like marking, mounting, and resource guarding. Working through this phase calmly and collectively will remind your dog of his previous good behavior.
Though this is a phase, it can quickly become a personality trait or habit. Once you notice your dog displaying signs of dominance, work on a strict regime, and nip it in the bud before the behavior gets out of hand.
Spaying or neutering your puppy at the right time is a great start!
There is a solution to every problem, and puppy parenting is no exception!
There will be moments when you feel like the world is ending and your dog will be awful forever. Take a deep breath, and relax. You will be ok!
If you are having issues coming up with solutions on your own, you can always ask friends, family members, or your veterinarian for tips and tricks. Pet store employees also possess a wealth of knowledge on helpful products that can make your life a whole lot easier.
Most people, myself included, forget that dogs are actively maturing throughout their entire lives. They learn new things every day, and stumble through phases and bad behaviors like the rest of us. A puppy can take up to three years to fully develop.
So, if your two year old is being a brat, try to remember that he's currently experiencing the awkward teenage stage of his life. Put yourself in his shoes, and remind yourself of what the teen years were like for you.
Dogs have feelings, and that guilty face is actually real. Yes, he tore up the garbage and ate your slipper, but he was only trying to have fun. Once he realized it wasn't as fun for you, he felt bad, and tried to say sorry by snuggling up to you.
Your dog may have made a big mistake, and hurt your feelings, but we can guarantee that he feels much worse than you do.
He lives his life to make you happy.
Your dog, undeniably and without a doubt, loves you more than anything on the entire planet. He loves you more than naps, snacks, and toys. He loves you more than his favorite spot on the couch, long hikes, and going to the beach. He actually loves all those things because of you.
He loves the days you spend at home on the couch, and when you toss him scraps of dinner. He loves when you scratch behind his ear, and tell him he's a "good boy."
You are his person and no one will replace you.
This is something we all need to hear, whether our dog is six months old or six years old. It's hard getting caught up in the stress of training and easy to forget how far you've come along as a pet-parent. Guaranteed, we were all "bad parents" at some point in time. The important thing to remember is that you've improved and are doing an amazing job!
You are raising, caring for, training, and shaping a living and breathing thing. Not to mention the fact that this thing is sometimes the most frustrating creature on the planet.
Though you might not have someone reassuring you every step of the way, we would like to take the time to remind you that you are doing a good job. You have tamed the wild beast and given it a name.
Keep up the great work!