There is light at the end of the Puppyhood Tunnel

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Here`s another great article:

I've seen a LOT of posts about Puppy Blues lately, so I wanted to pop in and say: Your hard work is going to pay off.

My own puppy is 7 months now, lab mix. I got him at 10 weeks as my university went to online and I was moving back in with my parents to finish up my last semester of my Master's. My lowest point was being in the backyard with my puppy who was eating the fabric weed barrier AGAIN in my parent's backyard. My mom had had a dream he had bitten a child the night before and I was going to bed every night with aching fingers from his biting. I started crying in the grass as Gus was having the time of his life avoiding me. I was so embarrassed that he still wasn't potty trained and was tearing up my parent's backyard and that he was possibly a biting risk to children.

After hearing my crying and my explanation as to why I was crying, my dad marched over, grabbed Gus, took the fabric out of his mouth and held him still as he told me: "I knew he was going to dig in the yard and have accidents. Your mom and I are going to replace the carpet anyways and redo this yard in a couple years. But I can't have Gus being bad and you being sad, okay? He was born 16 weeks ago. He didn't even EXIST before January. You're doing great. He's doing great. Don't be sad."

Gus isn't perfect. He's a teenager now, so I had to change my training methods to get better results from him. But his biting has gone down a bunch after a LOT of time outs (I'm the only victim now if I'm pulling him out from under a bed). He doesn't knock toddlers over automatically anymore (trust me, we still follow him following the toddler when they visit). His loose-leash walking is still being worked on, but we can go pick up materials at Home Depot and not look like crazy people. He loves to ride in the car now, and he hasn't had an accident in 2 months.

Did he run full-speed at Grandma and almost knock her over to her untimely death this last week? Yes. Are we working on a "Place" command so next time Grandma comes over, he will be sitting on his bed until we release him? Yes. He ain't perfect, but he's pretty great.

Puppy hood is soooo hard, but with hard work, consistency, time and listening to the behavior of your own puppy, you are going to succeed. I highly recommend an obedience class or two, it's just nice to see you are not the only with one with a wild child. You are doing great, take time for yourself, and good luck.

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