It’s been over 15 years since we last had a puppy - that’s over a century in dog years!
Upon deciding to add a new little ball of fur to our family, I began the quest to obtain puppy knowledge. What the heck was I going to do with this new wagging-pack member? How would I train him? How would he train me?
I began with the Internet (of course), with hyper-focus on sites that specialized in Yorkshire Terriers. The information available was overwhelming. Next, I visited our local pet store and spoke with the store manager to glean insight on food choices, training courses, chew toys, etc. (And all along the way, I began buying cute little sweaters, a sheep-skin lined harness and a leash with a flashlight included in the handle!)
Seemingly, the more information I gathered, the more unsure I became. I don’t stick to regimes. I get tired (dare I say, lazy?!) And lastly, my life has become very easy, so why was I about to add complications?
Yet, as the universe works, a friend suggested I chat with the local “dog whisperer” – so I called him. It was probably the smartest phone call I ever made! Prior to bringing the new puppy home, I made an appointment to have Ron Murray from Montana Murray Kennels pay us a home training visit. We would pick up the little “ankle-biter” on Saturday, and training would begin on Monday. Suffice to say, I would have to endure on my own for two days – 48 hours. (By the way, Mr. Murray assured me that I could not create bad habits in two days. I prayed that his insight would be correct.)
Prior to Mr. Murray’s visit, the first two nights sleeping in the crate did not go over very well. There were barrel-loads of barking, shrieking, pawing and otherwise general puppy un-ease.
I wondered if I’d made a grave choice.
My sleep is one of the most important parts of my life. I would become Medusa on meth without the proper sleep-sum per night.
What have I done?
Puppy training day could not come soon enough. I was hanging all hope on the fact this canine genius would solve all our puppy non-sleeping, hate-the-crate problems.
Upon arriving in our home, Mr. Murray began to spout all his puppy pansophy – highlighting the fact we need to act as the pack leader. He gave comprehensive information in terms of “the pack” mentality and how we need to lead the charge.
Hands down, the most important piece of Intel that was passed from the “puppy professional” to me, was the “how to keep the puppy quiet in the crate” routine. That nugget alone was worth every penny of a private in-house visit.
How to Keep Puppy Quiet in the Crate Rule:
1. Place puppy in crate.
2. When puppy whines, barks or otherwise protests, begin the “correction” by shaking the crate and making a sound like a balloon losing air – pssssssssstttt, or aaaaaaaaaaaaattttttttttttttttt.
3. Continue to “correct” as needed.
Puppy sleeps peacefully in crate night after night, with each progressive night going longer and longer prior to needing to go potty. (Potty training is a whole different topic, of which I am not yet prepared to speak of successfully.)
Next time I see Mr. Murray, I’m kissing him directly on the lips!!
Don’t worry, there will be PLENTY more of Puppy Tales as we progress.
In fact, today is our first visit with the puppy doctor – and boy, do I have questions!