The first two weeks

“What was I thinking?” is all I can say about the first few days alone with an 8 week old puppy. It had been 6 years since Pemberly had a pup in the house. I dont remember Keaton ever having an accident in his crate, shredding paper products, or running around the house with forbidden items. Did I just block all this out when he was a baby or did it not happen? Was he that good of a pup?

Times were different, of course, when Keaton was a kid. Rob was there to help with household chores and we had his littermate, Whisper until 12 weeks.

My boys have always seemed easier to housebreak. Do they just care more about what you think? Smart is NOT always better and I believe the girl flatties often have their “own agenda”.

I am not sure I remember much about the first few night other than not getting much sleep and a wet pup and crate in the mornings. Although I am not usually a fan of withholding water, it was about getting some sleep. I took the water up around 8 and set my alarm for 2 am with the advise of dog friends Nancy and Susan. I could not have been happier to find a dry morning crate with the little adjustment at home.

Trying to figure out her feeding schedule was also a bit of a challenge. As the breeder had said, she wasnt a voracious eater at meal times. She got distracted easily and ate slowly. I am use to chow hounds . I had wanted to do some early hand feeding,but I couldnt hold her attention with meals. She barely seemed interested in lunch. By hand feeding, I as many dog people believe, that it increases the bond between you and your dog as well as try and prevent food aggression issues in the future.

Again, I consulted long time flatcoat owner, Nancy Schenck of Destiny Kennels. She commented that many of her pups wean themselves off lunch and recommended dropping lunch to see if it picked up her appetite. She laughed and said, “She’s a flatcoat bitch and soon her appetite would pick up .” Now she leaps up at her dinner bowl and dashes for her crate.

We did have some early successes too. Daytime routine was easier for us. She was kept close to me at all times. She was allowed loose in the kitchen only if I was there. The living room was gated shut- we wanted 1 room to stay nice. An x-pen was set up in the office so I could work without worrying that my ethernet cord would be chewed up or a potty accident might be left on the floor. Of course, a crate was set up for bedtime in the kitchen. My dogs all sleep in the kitchen as I am a light sleeper and have allergies. According to my Allergist, all pets should live outdoors(yea, right!).

It sure does eat up any of your “spare moments” to have an untrained pup in the house. You have to be on constant alert .Where are they? What do they have now? We took potty breaks every 30 minutes and she always did her job.There was little wiggle room though. Outside after a meal,a romp with Keaton, and after naps always involved a trip to the outdoors for a potty break.No sleeping in either unless I wanted a wet dog.We had to roll the alarm clock back 30 minutes just so we could fit more potty breaks

We have come a long way. No more sleep deprivation and no more early morning baths. The journey has just begun.

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