I’m getting a puppy y’all.
I have the number of dogs I have! It’s fine! We’re fine!
But I now have just a few weeks left to prepare for said puppy. Having multiple dogs definitely creates new challenges, that I did not have when I brought Cargo home a few years ago. I want to make sure that puppy has the best setup for success so I don’t want to pull my hair out.
Supplies to keep me Sane
Food stuffable toys. Kongs, and west paw toys are going to be rolling out my front door at christmas time. We moved the chest freezer into the house for just this reason. I am organizing all the food puzzles, the snuffle mats, wobblers, and slow feeder bowls for easy grabbing and filling as needed. I need plenty of things to keep everyone occupied and calm when we are not actively doing things.
New Crates Toad is getting downgraded to a 42” crate from his fat house. This should give me the space to put another 42” crate in the dog room for puppy when he needs to chill. There will also be a smaller kennel in my office for the tiny baby to sleep when the other dogs are also in their kennels.
X-Pens. We have an x-pen put up in the door way that divides our house. This was for Toad and Cargo to get used to each other, but we have found it very helpful when someone can’t settle down (Cargo). We are going to get another for “puppy play pen” in the main area of the house, and to introduce the puppy to the rest of the dogs. Another x-pen will go in the yard for puppy potty area. Our yard is huge to a 10 week old puppy, so allowing them an area to potty before playing helps them remember what they are out there to do.
The Training Plan for Current Dogs
Stationing. The skill of staying where I put you until told to get up. Oh impulse control is so difficult. Doing stuff and moving has to be the ultimate goal for a herding dog. Move and make things move. Teaching them to sit still is very hard, but very important. We will be working very hard on sitting still.
Taking Turns. Everyone wants all the turns when training. All. The. Turns. This is not so bad with only one or two dogs. When you have… many… this becomes a little trickier. Especially with a puppy. I am emphasizing treats in turn, and rewards for stationing while training being more important than the actual training. That means that I have to go back to the basics to make sure everyone can handle my training a new puppy.
Waiting to go through the door. We had to get a new refrigerator the other day, and when we did, the chest freezer also had to come in the house. This created a very tight space to go out the back door. I am working with dogs who tend to run a little hot, and an older dude who is not going to appreciate being jostled every time we go out. I am starting now teaching them to go through the door one at a time. Opie and Cargo knew this in the old house because of the same reason, but I have let it slide in this house.
Quiet in Kennel This is probably the most important thing we are working on currently. Cargo has some feelings about being in her kennel that we really need to work on. It was one of those things I should have worked on when she was a puppy, but even as a dog trainer, I am human, and didn’t. Here I am working on undoing 3 years of feelings in 6 weeks. 0/10 do not recommend!
I want to be as prepared as possible, to give puppy the best chance at success. Also, I have a business to run, so I want to preserve my sanity as much as possible!