I Caved.

Yes. Take a minute to absorb the cute.

After much begging and pleading on behalf of the shorter people in my home, I have caved and said, FINE. We can get a dog. Previously, I’d been following the college dorm rule of pet life: If you can hold it under water and it doesn’t die, you can keep it as a pet.

Thing is, fish die. We’ve had two fish die in the past six months and frankly, the girls wanted a pet that could be more easily embraced into the family. They wanted a pet that they could love that might love them back, a pet they could hug and take for walks. A fish may be nice and quiet and a fish may never poop on your carpet but hugging a fish isn’t fun. Also, it’s messy.

Hence the totally adorable labradoodle that we’ll be picking up tomorrow night. The Princess researched to find a breed that would be most likely hypoallergenic, which is a nod to the whole “mommy likes to breathe” thing, and we’ve purchased a book on dog training (positive training, yes).

But, I’m looking for other puppy wisdom. Like babies, there are 101-bajillion things on the market for your pet – and some I’m guessing, I probably don’t need (seriously – I saw doggy diapers at PetSmart yesterday). What do we need for our little puppy? Any training tips you recommend? Help a girl out.

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. Are you ready for a novel? *giggle*

    Crate training is the way to go when it comes to house breaking a puppy. Trust me. It’s not inhumane and it saves your floors (and your sanity). I also have an excellent book recommendation…or I can send it to you to borrow if you want. Let me know.

    Also, buy good quality dog food. Yes, it’s more expensive, but it’s got more nutrition which means they eat less. Less food = less poop = less chances of poop in house.

  2. I just saw a labradoodle yesterday on my walk. They are so cute!

    I agree with Meg about crate training. We purchased our last puppy from breeders who said we MUST use a crate. It was for the safety of the puppy, for one thing. They pointed out that a puppy left alone can start chewing on electrical wires and get into all sorts of trouble. Our dog loved her crate. We left it open when we were home and she chose to stay in it for naps, and when we went away, we never had to worry. I would never do it any other way. Good luck – dogs are wonderful pets.

  3. I have to agree with crate training! They think of crates like a little bedroom. When I can’t find one of mine, I’ll sometimes look and she’s curled up having some alone time in her crate. Also, wrt housebreaking, they sell little dog doorbells that you can hang next to the door. If you ring it every time you go outside with the dog, the dog will learn that ringing the bell = going potty, and will start to ring it to alert you to the fact that it needs to go out!

    My only big big suggestion is to talk to them a lot. Talk to it like it’s a person. No, really. My dogs know crazy commands like “gimme that tummy” or “are you thirsty?” or “don’t look at me when I’m eating” because I talked to them and they understood every time I said a particular thing that they were to behave in a particular way. That’s how mine learned all of their commands, and I’d like to think they’re pretty well trained. 🙂

    Oh, also, necessities to purchase:
    *Rawhide munchies (they look like plywood made out of rawhide – regular rawhides can be swallowed in large chunks that can block stuff up inside, and can be dangerous, but puppies need to chew!)
    *A dog-mergency first aid kit (have gauze, non-stick bandages [the kind that they wrap on you when you give blood], neosporin, a dog-only thermometer, and some sort of antibac cleanser)
    *A sweet rotation of toys – take a few out at a time and hide the others away. Every few weeks, exchange the boring old ones for the “new” ones that haven’t been seen for a few weeks.
    *Toothbrush and toothpaste! I might be in the minority on this one, but I brush my dogs’ teeth. Poodles are prone to tooth decay, and starting them in a routine from when they’re puppies is much easier than starting them when they’re a few years old. Mine love the poultry flavored toothpaste and love brushing their teeth! Weird, I know, but it keeps their kisses a little fresher.


  4. I crate trained and even though I was super resistant at first, I had to admit it really worked and one of our dogs (the younger, rowdy one who obviously has doggy ADD) is still put in the crate at night. Also..those pads they sell to housebreak, yeah, those don’t work AT ALL.

  5. we crate trained too and then after a few months, after she knew to sleep through the night and go to the door to pee, we started letting her sleep with us. good luck!!! 🙂

  6. Christine says

    For my two dogs, crate training didn’t work. But I found that letting them out every 2 hours did and once they found out by me saying a different negative reinforcement (like “hey” or “woah”) worked when they had accidents because humans use “no” a lot in their everyday language. Once they were trained and had accidents in the house, I learned from my obidence trainer that if you but baby crates around the spot and the dog in the area trapped in with the pee/poop they learned automatically to not go inside. But this was after the dogs were potty trained. And when teaching him or her to walk, use a 6 ft leash without the finger trigger and keep the dog on the left side and use treats and a clicker to keep it at your heels, and if they pull do not pull it back towards you instead stop and turn to have the dog come back at your side.

  7. Socialize the puppy a lot. The more people and other animals it’s around the better. Make sure shots are always up to date and get it spayed/neutered when it’s old enough to have the surgery performed.

    Lots of high quality chew toys, toys that can have peanut butter inserted into them are usually well liked.

    I trained my dogs to obey voice commands and hand gestures. Make sure both girls train the dog, so the dog recognizes it’s required to obey even the littlest family member.

    Establish early on if the dog will be allowed to sit on the couch or beds, and teach the dog to stay away from the table during mealtimes.

    Have fun!

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