Today is world mental health day.
Something that can happen, but something not many people talk about is the puppy blue’s.
You’ve welcomed your gorgeous bundle of fluff home after preparing for their arrival for weeks. You have their bed, water and food bowls, and all their toys. Rather than finding they are resting in your arms, you find they are nibbling them with their needle sharp puppy teeth and making holes in your favourite jumper. You find them chewing on your table leg despite having an array of different chews to chew on.
The plethora of information on the internet can be overwhelming and your mother in law’s advice seems outdated and even mean. What do you do?
These are all common challenges new puppy owners come to me with.
First and foremost, you’re not alone. Lots of people are experiencing what you are now. Puppies are bundles of energy.
Try and remember to accept what you can’t control and do what you can with what you have. Try and label the behaviour that you’re seeing and pin points moments it occurs so you can notice any patterns. Here are some things to try:
Nipping: hold a baton sized crunchy cold carrot for your dog to chew on. That way they will learn that your hands going near items that they value is nothing to worry about. It will also ease their gums. Reward them for the absence of the nipping behaviour. Train them to do something else.
Toileting: block off areas that you can’t supervise so your dog doesn’t have an accident indoors. Take them outside every 30 minutes and give them a treat after they have done their business.
Settling: puppies need opportunities to rest and sleep – their brain and little legs are growing and developing! Make sure your puppy has the chance to just do nothing. Quite often we will take lots of time off work to care for our puppy and give them oodles of attention and non-stop play but this isn’t helping their emotional resilience.
Reach out if you need support, remember it takes a village!