21 March 2018

Briar Turns One + Tips for Raising a Puppy

Weimaraner Dog Birthday

Weimaraner Dog Birthday

Weimaraner Dog Birthday

Weimaraner Dog Birthday

Briar celebrated her first birthday and I still can't believe that she is already a year old! I am such a dog mom its crazy! I have always loved dogs but never thought I would be as obsessed with my dog until I got Briar. Fellow crazy dog people out there, I'm sure you can understand me when I say I am crazily obsessed with this Weim!

Raising a puppy is a lot of work and I don't say that lightly. It is not for everyone and there are so many factors to consider before bringing a puppy home. Reflecting back on the past year these are my tips for raising a puppy:

1. Do your Homework and Evaluate your Life 

Whether you get a puppy from a reputable breeder, or a dog shelter do your homework on the breed characteristics as well as rules regarding dogs at your home. Many apartment complexes have breed or weight restrictions that you need to be mindful of before picking out a pup. Also, you need to be frank with yourself. Look at your routine and hobbies. Where does dog fit into this? It is not fair to the dog if you are only able to spend time on the weekend with it. They need attention and exercise and training each and every day, rain or shine.

2. Potty Training is a Serious Commitment

I treated potty training like a mission and Briar stopped going in the house after 2 weeks. She still had a couple accidents after that but they were truly accidents and were my fault for not getting her outside fast enough. Whether you think your pup has to go or not, take them out every few hours and bring treats. When they go where they are supposed to give them a treat and make them feel special. Living in a downtown apartment, I found that going down the elevator would take too long or be inconvenient sometimes so I bought a tray with artificial grass and put it on my balcony so that Briar could learn to go there too.

3. Buy Anti Chew Spray and Use It

Anti chew spray is super helpful as the chewing phase kicks in but I found it to be most effective when I would praise Briar for chewing something she should chew on. I found Emmy's Best Anti-Chew Spray to work really well.

4. Bring Treats With You, Everywhere

Seriously I cannot stress this one enough! Bring treats with you everywhere you go even if just a short trip outside. Praise with a treat every time they do something you want whether you ask for it or not! Positive reinforcement with rewards is how puppies learn what is good versus bad behavior. They will catch on and do what gets them the treat. Briar goes crazy for anything by Zuke's and Full Moon.

5. Buy the $20 Harness, It's Worth It 

Leash training is sooo hard but when our trainer suggested we get the PetSafe Easy Walk Harness, our lives were changed. When your dog pulls it redirects their forward momentum turning them in towards you. Pretty soon they stop pulling since they can't move forward. I'm not into shock collars or pronged collars and this harness truly worked wonders.

6. Finding the Right Toys and Chews is Trial and Error

We have gone through countless chews and toys. Some Briar loves, some she has zero interest in, and others she likes but don't last long. I love going to TJ Maxx or Marshall's for these since I don't know what is going to work and don't really want to pay full price in case Briar destroys it in 2 minutes or has zero interest in it. But some have been worth the money:


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