A friend of mine was telling me she met a little puppy the other day. I asked her did it have puppy smell? Yes! This was followed by giggly coo-ing noises as we both remembered our dogs, both now seniors, when they were puppies.
Here’s a little of my Puppy Zen, passed to me years ago by wise dog guru, Vanda:
Whatever you put in for the first three years’ of your dog’s life is what you will get back for the rest of the dog’s life.
The power of this statement for me was that it instilled a high level of patience over puppy antics. (Yeah, that’s a euphemism for chewed furniture, stains on the carpet, a room smelling of dog pee, emergency calls to the vet, humiliation at dog obedience training, you get the idea ….) Why? As Dr. Phil would say there is a pay-off for you for all your good work. In this case the pay-off is huge: a good dog citizen and companion for the long term. Oh, and unconditional love.
This idea of getting back what you put in didn’t just help me through the puppy years, it had me reveling in them. Em, well, the second time at least! It’s the idea that your dog will only be a puppy for a short time so make the most of it and enjoy it.
Use this precious time to build a strong foundation for a fulfilling relationship between you and your dog.
Ideally, when you realize one day that your puppy is now a dog, the puppy smell has wafted away in the night, you can look back on the puppy years and pat yourself, as well as your good dog, on the back.