If you have caved and brought a fur baby into your home during the last two months, welcome. Pull up a chair and listen closely. I am here to tell you it’s one of the best decisions you could have made.
There’s no comfort quite like a pet to help pull you out of a really tough time. The companionship dogs have offered their owners during the global pandemic cannot be underestimated.
Add to this the position many animal shelters found themselves in, fearing that they would not be able to continue their services when self-isolation came into play, it’s hardly surprising so many have chosen to add a four-legged friend to their home.
Watch: Dogs can tell when you’re upset, and they want to help! Post continues below.
While restrictions are easing, many of us will continue to work at home – and this is a blessing in disguise when it comes to puppy training. Consider it as impromptu paw-ternity leave because honestly, you’re going to need it.
During the first few weeks with a fur baby, it’s hard not to be blinded by puppy love.
While you want to spoil them and give in to their adorable puppy dog eyes, don’t – because you’re going to be living with the outcome of what you teach them now for a long time to come.
While I took my miniature dachshund Maple to puppy training, my inability to put boundaries in place at home purely because she was so damn cute has now left me the owner of a three-year-old mini dictator.
Yes, Maple is adorable but she is also needy, demanding and seriously entitled. That might sound harsh but as her mum, I can say, she’s a monster.
So please, learn from my mistakes and don’t make the same errors I did:
1. Never feed them from the table.
This is one that I did super well with at the beginning. Maple was trained to sit before her food was put in front of her and never came begging at the dinner table.
But it wasn’t long before other family members went against my ‘dinner time rules’ and started feeding her from their plates. This is a bad idea.
It makes begging okay and each time you give your dog food from your plate, you are rewarding this negative behaviour. Eventually, it becomes a learned habit and you can say goodbye to eating your food in peace ever again.