Brand new dog mom

People say it’s going to be challenging to raise a puppy and I really tried to prepare myself for it – reading forums, books, youtube videos, etc. I did my best and not going to lie it’s a TON of work. I fortunately work part time so I am able to spend a lot of time with Tobi (short for Tobias). Some challenges are listed below…

  • Potty training
    • Pups can’t hold their bladder for very long. The rule of thumb is 1 hour for how old they are in months + 1. For example, at 3 months, they can hold it max for ~4 hours.
    • You have to constantly take them out to potty/poo around the clock and get them adjusted to going outside versus inside.
    • This in turn results in us having to wake up in the middle of the night to let him out to potty. This took a tremendous toll on our sleep schedule! I would say this was the hardest thing the first couple of months.
    • Things that helped include bells by the door. We asked Tobi to touch/ring the bells each time to go outside so that he could slowly associate potty/poo with bells and going outside.
    • Another thing that helped was crate training. I know it sounds cruel and I was really reluctant on leaving him in his crate but it really helped with potty training. The idea behind it is that a crate is their safe space or “den” and that the space is only big enough for them to sleep/turn around/sprawl out. They will not potty/poo in their space of sleep.
    • I initially kept him in a crate only at night and used a play pen during the day. I found that using a play pen he still went potty/poo on one side and laid on the other. He would generally lay around the sides like he felt comforted to have his back against something.
    • Pee pads – initially used this but then I didn’t want him to relate that to going inside only so we eventually got rid of it
    • He’s currently 10 months and he’s had a couple accidents in the house. Maybe once every few weeks or so but that is also partially our fault in not watching him carefully in when he signals to go outside. I’d say he’s doing well in those regards. His best streak was 45 days!
    • Now that he’s 10 months and when my husband and I work, we do leave him in the crate. We have a Wyze cam that we’ll use to see what he’s up to but it’s been mostly napping. He’s grown to love it and even takes naps in it when the door is open. We have someone from Rover to check in/walk him during the day.
  • Biting/nipping
    • Corgis are herding dogs so they’re known to nip heels. As with all puppies they bite/nip as they’re teething. It’s important to have toys readily available if they start nipping to switch out what you don’t want so they know what’s okay to nip/bite at.
    • Tobi nipped a little bit here and there when we tried to pick him up. He’s gotten a lot better about it since then. His full adult teeth are in so his teeth aren’t sharp anymore.
    • Another strategy to this is to tire pups out so they are less likely to nip. Tug of war is a great game to play to tire pups out.
    • We also make say “ah-ah” or “ow” very high pitched to let him know if he’s hurting us.
  • Training
    • This has probably been the most fun part, but still a challenge with having a pup.
    • Corgis are very food motivated so training Tobi has been really fun.
    • Some tricks he knows: sit, down, stay, bang, roll over, shake, spin, go to your crate, drop it, leave it, come, weave, etc.
    • One of the most important one that we try to over emphasize is come here, especially when we’re at a dog park.
    • Another one to over emphasize is drop it. This is crucial when going on walks and when they pick up something that is toxic to them.

These are just some things I’ve experienced so far. After Tobi was able to sleep through the night with no accidents we were also able to sleep through the night. We’ve been lucky with crate training because he felt at home his very first night. He whined very little being in the crate. It all takes time and patience! I won’t lie. My full attention was on Tobi during the first couple of months that I neglected other important things. The transition of creating space for Tobi versus replacing him with other things is a balancing act. We are slowly getting the hang of it!

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