Living with a Toddler Dog

“All I want for Christmas is for my Daddy to forgive me one more time. This’ll be the last time I promise. I’m sorry for getting to your favorite Grateful Dead hat, your keyboard, your camera, the phone, your wallet, your shoes…….. And Mommy did rescue some of that stuff…..”

Now in defense of this toddler dog.

Who is the toddler, the dog who hopefully will eventually think a bit before grabbing anything that smells like my husband? Or my husband who hopefully will eventually think to put his stuff away?

My kids had been well trained years ago when we had another set of young dogs that you can’t just blame the dog’s existence for the demise of their belongings. Things have a place and should be put back in that place. Or at least leave them lay in the areas where the dog isn’t allowed.

Yes there are many times when even I am tired of this dog. But we adopted him and made a promise to love him through thick and thin. My kids were annoying at times too, but I certainly wouldn’t send them packing. This dog is still under two years old and every dog I’ve ever had took about five years to really settle down and be able to harness their own high energy.

As Christmas approaches and so many people may be planning on adopting a puppy, please please please understand that your cute little arrival is a baby!! As he grows he’ll be learning with everything he sees, touches, tastes and destroys. Please childproof your home and make necessary changes and adjustments not only to your home but with your own habits.

Don’t dangle the carrot and then punish the dog for getting into what he shouldn’t!

Don’t expect the dog to think like a person!

Don’t expect him to know what is expensive or treasured!

If something is off limits don’t leave it within reach. If it is something that belongs in a room the dog has access to, then realize you’ll have to supervise until the dog learns what is ‘no touch’. And don’t teach him that by scaring the bejeebies out of him through yelling. The dog will back off for sure but it is doubtful he’ll connect your anger with the object. And never never never hit your dog!
The best way is to teach him the command for ‘drop’ in a calm, authoritative voice and distract him with an object they are allowed to chew on.

Remember, dogs want nothing more than to please you!

So, my dear husband, remember as we did with every developmental stage when the kids were small..”This too shall pass”.