Puppy Love!

Lyle and I have just brought home our new puppy: Ella. She is a Keeshond and we are just thrilled with her! We have begun the process of crate training. Let me tell you, I was very nervous about this. I’ve had a couple of dogs, but never puppies and so the process of training the puppy has been quite daunting and a little scary.

To prepare, I did what many people do: I read books and did a ton of Internet research. I have one favorite library book which is probably overdue now, but has really helped me through the most challenging times. Now, as great as all these reading tools and videos are, no book can really prepare you for the reality of crate training. The sound that puppies are capable of making when they are not happy and want out! Oh man, it can break your heart! It’s easy to cave in. I did a couple of times, and took her out of the crate. But determined to make a success of this process, tried again and put her back in the crate and discovered that she did in fact stop the crying…eventually.  After the first couple of tries, when she cried and whined when we put her in, she’s already at the stage where she goes in on her own initiative (we’ve had her for less than 3 days at the time of this posting). I think that’s step one. Step two is getting her to stop peeing in the house and also, letting us know when she needs to go out. I’m feeling optimistic that we’ll get through it with success, perhaps not over night but it will happen. The next challenge – leaving her alone for a little while. I know I need to do that relatively soon and just as with the crate training, I’m not particularly looking forward to it. However, what I keep telling myself is, if I don’t want a dog that whines and barks the whole time I’m gone, then I have no choice but to do this right and do it now. For me that’s really good motivation. I’ll keep you posted…

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