Expectations When Getting A New Puppy

It's almost impossible to resist a cute, loving, bubbly, inquisitive, playful puppy! They bring so much joy to our lives! Before you open your heart and home to a new little one let's review our expectations and consider the responsibility caring for a puppy will entail.

Some eager parents are looking to fill a void in their homes and hearts after the devastating loss of their beloved pet. While it seems like filling your arms with another joyful bundle will sooth the loss the opposite may happen. A time for grief is needed. Some people feel guilty for loving a new one as if betraying the lost one who gave you so much joy for many years. Some are completely caught unaware of the neediness of a puppy and the time needed to care for him/her at a time of self soothing and healing where you have little to give. While most readily admit that their lost beloved one can't be replaced that is exactly what they are trying to do. After a placement I hear such things as: my lost sweetie was so outgoing, she loved walks in the park, she greeted her daddy everyday with his slippers in her mouth, the new puppy is quite different, we thought we could train her. The biggest shock for most is losing a trained, loved, adult dog and then get a helpless infant puppy. They had not thought about what they would have to give but rather what the puppy would give to them, relief from the pain of loss.

It’s around day two of life with a new puppy that most people start to ask themselves, “what have I gotten myself into?” When you bring a puppy home, you are suddenly faced with obnoxious puppy behavior like whining, biting, jumping, chewing, and peeing & pooping on the carpet. This new owner usually feels overwhelmed and out of control

If you’ve done any research at all, you know that proper care and training is critical during a puppy’s first few months. The things your puppy experiences now are going to affect him for the rest of his life. No pressure, right?

Between managing the puppy’s destructive tendencies, worrying about stuff like vaccinations and socialization, and dealing with well-intentioned but often incorrect advice from friends, family, and TV shows, a puppy parent can get a little overwhelmed.

There are ways to deal with all of the above behaviors and I will offer tips but all new parents need to go into it with their eyes wide open. Do you have the time to raise a baby puppy? It will demand a lot from you in order to produce the happy, outgoing adult dog that will delight you for years!

OK, now that you have seen the worst, let's look at ways to make it all manageable and worth the work!


Debbie said...

Have you recently lost a furry family member? Please read my story.

We lost our beloved Zoey in May of 2017. She was nine years old and she was a member of our family her whole life. Our hearts were absolutely torn apart. We felt the only way to be happy was to get another dog to love and be part of our family.
I picked up our baby Maltese, Libby, in August when she was eight weeks old. I was expecting a dog (like Zoey) that I could sleep with and that would take naps in my lap. Instead, our puppy couldn't sit still for five seconds!!! She was constantly licking, biting, chewing and having accidents EVERYWHERE!!! It was very difficult and disappointing to say the least! But, we kept with it.
The biggest disappointment was I didn't love Libby like I did Zoey. I still tear up everyday when I think about my lost furry baby. She left a tremendous hole in my heart! Getting Libby has in no way eased the pain. I've still had to go through the grieving process. A broken heart is like a deep wound that only time will heal! I realize now that love takes time.
Libby is now 7 months old. She has finally calmed down enough to sleep in my lap. She is still too excited to sleep with me at night. She now takes herself into the bathroom and goes potty on her potty pad. I am finally feeling like I am now falling in love again! I am looking forward to the time when Libby can relax with me and behave like an older dog. I now love her for who she is, and not as a replacement for my grieving heart.

It has been a very long road! I am so happy I stuck with it. I can finally say that, in our hearts, Libby has become a furry family member!
My reason for writing my story is not to dissuade anyone from getting a new puppy. I just want people to go into the process, knowing what to expect.

Best wishes to all,


apollospace17@gmail.com said...

Sally - Love the Ultimate puppy checklist - great inforkmation as usual!

Joe and Ronna Cardone

Lesa Sloan said...

You are wise in setting the expectations for new parents. A puppy is not much different from a new baby in the fact that it requires your full time attention and each puppy has different needs.

Tim Vaughn said...

Thank you Sally, what you say is true. I've experienced the death of a few of my animals. I still after so many years ago tear up thinking of my beloved pets.I don't expect the new puppy to take the place of my devoted, passed on older dog. He's his own personality. Love the checklist you included. Patients, you have to take one day at a time to train the new puppy. Love, cuddle and play, he will come around. Thank you for the information.

Tim and Jane Vaughn

Joey Cardone said...

Sally, thank you for the great checklist! Although we have had experience with these puppies before, it's reassuring to have such a thorough and thoughtful checklist available!! We look forward to preparing our home for a puppy!

Joey Cardone and Ashley Hefton

SallyDillon said...

So reassuring to know other people feel the same as I did after the loss of a fur baby! Its take me almost 3 years to be ready to welcome a new bundle of joy! I had to know I was ready to completely open my heart! Im so glad we waited because I know now the joy and excitement I feel now wouldn't have happened had I rushed it! Thanks so much for sharing all this wisdom!
Sally D

Lan Tran said...

Dear Sally,
I am lucky to have not experienced the loss of a beloved puppy. I know that will be a very sad day. Thank you for this very helpful blog, it helps me see that a new puppy will require a lot of work and helps me prepare for what is to come. This is why we have waited so long to find the perfect pet for our family. We wanted to be 100% prepare and ready to bring home a new family member.

Lan T.

Denise Vallier said...

Sally, as so many, I too have lost a dog that was the love of my life. The grieving process was difficult, really difficult. But I am so happy I allowed myself time to totally go through the grieving process, because now I know I am ready to open my heart unconditionally to a new love of my life wirh absolutely no expectations of him being like nor replacing my first doggie love. In fact, it's important to me that my new boy has his own unique personality, I can't wait to fall in love again! The puppy stage can be challenging, but I love this stage! What a time to bond, teach, and learn.

I love your check list it is very helpful. The only thing I would add is getting a bottle of "Score 10X" it's a must for any new puppy parent. Not if, but rather when your puppy pees on the carpet after you have dabbed it up with a towel spray "Score 10X" on the area it totally elementates any residue and oder permanently. It even works on old pet stains/oders.

Denise Vallier

Kimberly Wells-Moon said...

I love the puppy checklist i took a picture of it. I learned a couple new things by just reading it.

Maxnandy1 said...

I read the stories of those whoe've lost a loved dog as have I. While it's hard to say goodbye, I had 7 months to prepare for it. I was lucky to have those extra months when I was told my girl was going to die. It is heartbreaking. But that time was special and therapeutic for me. I am very ready for a puppy and look forward to your excellent knowledge Sally and your help. I'm very excited and ready for my new baby.

Stephanie Andrus said...

Thanks for postitng this. It is clear you want people to be committed and prepared for your angel babies so that they go to tthe best homes possible. -- Stephanie Andrus

Anonymous said...

I remember the grief of losing a treasured pet as a kid. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a dog as a constant in my life and I’m so blessed to be in the position to devote the time, energy and resources that a puppy needs! Plus, I know you’re there, Sally, just a phone call away if I need some guidance. That checklist is something I saw from you a couple weeks ago and saved: along with the recommendations you have in another post, I’ve been adding things to my internet shopping cart, all ready to hit the “checkout button” for when I’m a confirmed puppy mama! I really appreciate Debbie’s post too, very realistic and down to earth: sometimes it’s not love at first, but I’m so happy she’s falling in love with Libby and hope they’ve created a beautiful bond.
-CD, Mapleton

Lisa Hurt said...

Sally, thank you for the helpful checklist. Since I have had dogs in the past, including a Maltese, I have most of the items already. I am fully prepared to embrace this new puppy as a blessing and not a burden. I know what kind of a commitment this is and take it very seriously.

Lisa H. 05/23/18

Anonymous said...

This blog was very helpful. We had to put our
Maltese puppy down August 17, 2018. It helped hearing others share their experience in grieving of their puppy. Sally's list of items needed for our new puppy was thorough and complete. Items were on the list that I would have forgotten or never thought of.
Also, just being reminded of the needs of a 'new puppy'.
Sally has thought of EVERYTHING! Larry and I are so thankful we found Sally and her beautiful Angel Babies!
Larry & Denise Ramsfield

Unknown said...

Thank you for putting together this very helpful list. It's been some time since I have had a Maltese puppy, and I so appreciate all that you are doing to prepare new owners of the commitment and pitfalls of having a new little life in the house. Thank you Sally for doing such an amazing job. -Jamie Iacoli

Samantha said...

Like many others have said, thank you, Sally! We are so grateful for the checklist and that you've removed our rose colored glasses for a moment to set proper expectations.
@Denise Vallier, thanks for recommending Score 10x as an additional resource for puppy accidents. .

Valerie said...

Love the checklist.
I have also lost previous fur babies. It's the worst part of having a pet, the goodbye. I never let my babies pass alone. While sitting with them as they pass is heart breaking, I feel like they were comforted that I was by their side till the end.
Each of my babies has been there own individual. I look forward to each personality.

Caliatra said...

A death is hard..we love them so deeply as if we mothered them ourselfs..

Anonymous said...

We read everyone’s comments last October’s after loosing our much loved Poppy. We took it all to heart as we knew we wanted to have grieving time and it was soooooooooo hard going through our daily without her. Thank you everyone for sharing..........it helped get us through a difficult time and reinforced our decision to wait it out. We now are looking forward to a new phase in our lives with a little angel.
Joyce and Robert Miller
Ashland, OR

Sue said...

You are so right about losing a pet. It took us a whole year to decide it was time for a new puppy. But we are so excited now to meet her. I love the puppy stage and look forward to the challenges and joys :)

Unknown said...

Sally thank you for posting the Ultimate Puppy Checklist. We can see there are many items to be purchased.

Carol Puphal said...

Ok... the comments about loosing a pet and taking the time to grieve pretty much hit home. We are grieving and my husband is feeling a little like he would be betraying our Abby with another baby. I believe our Abby has sent me to Sally. I'm giving it time.

We will be ready for this puppy when the time comes. We both have a place in our hearts to love another fur baby. And the Ultimate Puppy Checklist is amazing. There are things on the list that I had not even thought of. I'm loving these check-off lists.

Carol P

Mona said...

The Ultimate Puppy Checklist is great!! I totally agree that having a puppy is like having a baby, and should have the same level of dedication and devotion put into it. :)

Unknown said...

Good information on the checklist!