It’s Saturday…or Daycare Day as it’s called here. Every Saturday from 8-4, Atlas gets to go to Doggie Daycare at our local pet hospital/resort and socialize with other dogs. Not only does this give me time to get things done, but it has proven to be integral in Atlas’s social development.
Being a puppy parent has been the most challenging and rewarding time of my life so far; granted I’ve been doing it all by myself for most of the 5 months we’ve had Atlas because Jeff’s in training. Any of you who have ever gotten a puppy at 8 weeks or younger knows exactly what I mean.
Let me give you a timeline:
4 weeks old – plays for 10 minutes, sleeps for 2 hours. Cute and cuddly and just wants to be held.
6 weeks old -traveling to Ohio for Christmas. Still sleeps for about 2 hours at a time, but can play for about 20 minutes before becoming tired. Likes to sleep on Daddy.
8 weeks old – Can now play for 30 minutes – 1 hour and only sleeps for about an hour at a time. Biting me like crazy! Loves leaves!
12 weeks old – Starting puppy class. Biting is a real issue now. He loves new people and is super sweet, but cannot stop biting me. Gets his cone. Biting is inhibited slightly! Yippee! Can now sit, stay, and lay down on command. Not a fan of fire hydrants…
16 weeks old – Doing much better with the biting issue. Class is really helping! Still rambunctious, but super lovable. Getting smarter by the day! Can give both paws, high five, and roll over (with 50% accuracy on the roll over!). Finding out that he can jump/crawl up onto higher surfaces…
20 weeks old – Graduated puppy class and halfway through intermediate class. Loves going to the puppy park to play! Finally past his “puppy” behaviors like biting, nipping, and not listening. Great at doing tricks! He can even close cabinets on command!
So for any of you looking into getting a puppy for the very first time, know this: it will be the hardest, most frustrating, and sloppy-kisses filled time of your life! Make a commitment to work with them every day, as you would a child. The more time you put into them, the better they will be. The first few months were a challenge, but I kept going because I knew that putting in a year of hard training would give me a dog that would behave for the rest of his life! I couldn’t imagine my days without him 🙂
Leave me your best training tips and new tricks that I can teach Atlas! I’ll post new videos of his tricks at your request!