Puppies are Hard Work; at Best!!!

Tis the season, puppy season that is!

Although it is not recommended, many people get puppies at Christmas time and during the holidays.

I personally, have no problem with pets being gifts, as long as everyone in the family is in agreement.

One of the biggest things I have noticed as a problem with “holiday” puppies, is that winter and the weather in January is really not conducive to raising a puppy!

It Sounds Silly, Weather Matters

It sounds silly, but weather is a big part of how puppies are raised and treated.

I have had puppies during, all seasons, and I for certain like spring puppy raising best!

I don’t mind getting up at 4 a.m. when it is 80 degrees outside.

I find it distasteful to get up at 2, 3 or 4 in the morning when it is 20 below zero outside.

I have to find my socks, my shoes, my coat, my leash and head outside only to be jarred awake by the bitter cold, as I hope my puppy finds the motivation to go potty, and not just play in the snow.

One of my former puppies would scream with joy and excitement when he saw snow and would rather play for hours than getting down to business.

In spring and summer, I slip on my flip flops and can usually even go back to sleep fairly easily!

I am a Professional

I am a professional dog trainer.

  • I KNOW what has to be done to raise a puppy successfully.
  • I KNOW that I have to go outside with my puppy no matter how cold it is, even if I have a yard.
  • I KNOW that skipping these inconveniences set me and my puppy up for more difficult times.
  • Because of that I make no excuses!

A few weeks toughing it out in the below zero freezing cold, will set me up for later and later mornings, less accidents, and a rapidly potty trained puppy.

But ignoring the puppy, letting him sleep in bed, releasing him to pee and poop in the house, or just shoving him outside alone (I don’t care how cold, wet, or windy it is!) will prolong the process and create bad habits.  And, let us admit, that bad habits are hard to break!

Leaving your puppy outside, doggy doors, and puppy pads all go against teaching your puppy to actually hold his bladder.   Click on the links to read more about why!

The Truth is….litter of puppies

The truth is; puppies are work!

No matter the puppy, all puppies are work!

You can’t sleep in, in the morning, you probably won’t get naps on your day off or much extra sleep for a year or more.

  • They need to be constantly monitored so they don’t have accidents and so that they don’t eat your things or get an obstruction swallowing things like underwear or socks.
  • They need to go outside about every two hours.
  • They often prefer to play with bugs, leaves or butterflies than going potty or attending to business.
  • They are easily distracted.
  • They can’t sit still for long.
  • They play hard and sleep harder, but that stage doesn’t last long.
  • Soon they are playing hard, and then playing harder without sleeping for long intervals.
  • They need exercise.
  • They need training and mental stimulation as soon as you bring them in the door.

Everything about a puppy is work!

They cease to be AS much work usually a year or two later.

But come on, 2 years is a long time!  I like sleeping in on occasion; but puppies don’t understand and usually can’t wait.

That is why so many puppies end up in shelters at about 9 months to a year old.

There is no way around it.

There is no magical cure for “puppiness”.

It takes training, time and patience to have a well trained dog!

happy young man with puppyI Wouldn’t have a Puppy

I wouldn’t have or get a puppy, if I had a full time job.

I know it would be nearly impossible to go out at 3 a.m. and make it to work by 6, without wanting to murder someone (I’m not good without sleep).

I wouldn’t be able to get my puppy out every 2 hours if I was at work.

And, I wouldn’t be able to spend as much time training and teaching as they need in order to feel and be fulfilled.

Sometimes having a puppy is unrealistic!

That Doesn’t Mean I Wouldn’t have a Dog

But, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have a dog.

I can’t imagine not having a dog.

I will always have a dog!

No matter how old I am, or what I am doing in life.

I accept, not being able to travel, because I would rather have dogs!

But if I was working full time, or didn’t have time for a puppy; I would get an adult dog.

There are all kinds of adult dogs that need homes.

And, adult dogs don’t take nearly as much fundamental time!

They can be crated longer, and many of them enjoy sleeping in as well as you do!

Plus, I LOVE senior dogs!

I love giving a home to a sweet, older dog, who just wants a comfortable place to nap and a lap to cuddle.

After all, not everyone is set up to meet the needs of a puppy!

And, skipping some of the fundamental things puppies need, only sets them and you up for frustration and failure.

So if you don’t have the time or desire to devote to a new puppy; consider going to the shelter or a local rescue and finding the perfect adult dog that will fit into your needs!

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  1. Mindy Colon says:

    I have a puppy that c is now 5 mos old. I’m having problem with him letting us know he has to go out, how can I each him to bark or scratch at the door when he has to go. Sometimes he goes out to Pee then comes in & do Poop inside, that drives me crazy. My husband keeps threatening that he’s going to bring him to the pound if he had another accident in the house. He even does it right in front of us, that’s frustrating.
    My second problem with him b is he’s very aggressive with strangers he chases, barks & tries to bite anyone that comes to the door, or if it’s someone I allow in the house & they move here go crazy barking & tried to bite! I Need Help, I Love him & don’t want to give him up!! You’re suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Desperate, Mindy


    Minette Reply:

    Why aren’t you going out with him to make sure he does his business? it is your job to ensure he has gone potty before he is allowed access to the house.

    As far as the biting, I can’t see it so I suggest a veterinary behaviorist to witness the behavior and help you


  2. margaret c. says:

    great article. even with me retired, hubby still working full-time, it’s hard work raising a puppy. we have a 3-month old irish setter…sleeps with us, our dogs always have…we take turns getting up in the night, last night at 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. he lets us know by gently nipping and pawing at us. in the day, he sits quietly by the foyer door. even if he’s just been out, we take him out again and sure enough he’ll have a 2nd pee or poop. we’ve had to re-arrange our house, put gates up, clear tables he can reach, remove potential dangers and pay attention all the time. i wish more people would understand that the hard work and patience pays off eventually.


  3. Lorrie says:

    Purchased a 7yr old female terrier 3 months ago. Unfortunately, she has been trained to use a potty pad(former show dog) and I’m having a heck of a time training her NOT to go in the house. She will urinate on the kitchen floor because that’s where I initialy put her potty pads when we first got her. Take her outside on a leash, stay with her until she “goes” and reward her with a treat and praise. She’s now tuned into the treat part and will squat and make a big show of it, but I’m not sure she’s always going. 🙂 Have cut back on a treat every time-sometimes just lots of praise and petting. She just finished being in “season” and has chosen to use the kitchen more often. Any suggestions?


    Minette Reply:

    bad habits are hard to break.

    I never use treats for potty training, I think it is distracting. it is about keeping them from having accidents and getting them outside in time


  4. jen says:

    ok… here is a unique puppy situation. We got our bloodhound at 8weeks and she is now 4 months old. Only had one poop accident and that was when we left her alone with lazy teenagers. still has occasional pee accidents. She is very very good at signaling at the door. really good … too good. She signals every 15 flipping minutes. When we take her out she pees right away which is good. I know she can hold it as she does when she is traveling in car or in her crate. The temptation is to make her wait but don’t want to ignore her plea to potty outside.


    Minette Reply:

    you risk her regressing if you choose not to allow her to go out when she asks.


  5. Lynn says:

    I have a 3 month old Boston terrier. Lovely dog, but never goes to the door or otherwise signals the need to go out. I have to guess. I get her out often. I anticipate her pooping needs pretty well, but she tends to pee on the floor when I am distracted with my part-time, mostly at home job. How do I teach her to go to the door so I know when she needs to go out?
    Is this an unusual problem for her age? Am I giving her too much room to play? She has the run of two rooms, my office with plastic over the rug and the kitchen. We had a particularly bad day with several accidents even though she had been out frequently. She’s sleeping almost through the night now, but can’t hold her urine during the day for long that an hour. She is crate and carrier trained.


  6. Eileen wells says:

    I need help potty training a 6 mon old puppy. I tried to order A disc but the computer would not take the order. Button poops whoever he wants! Inside or out. I am physically better now and want to concentrate on Button’s problems.


  7. Wendy says:

    I use the bells and it worked, after 3 weeks hes potty trained and hes a beagle supposedly the hardest dog to train:)


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