Your Puppy’s New Year’s Resolutions
If you’re anything like us, your new year’s resolutions get swept under the rug fairly quickly along with the last scraps of wrapping paper and pine needles. But, that doesn’t mean your puppy can’t stick with some resolutions for 2017. A couple of them may even help you have a happier new year as well.
Goal #1: Your puppy is dying to hear “good puppy!” more. How do you do that? Training! A trained puppy is a happy puppy with even happier owners. If you don’t have a Smiling Dog, you can still help your puppy with this goal. Ideally, your puppy is trained in their first few months, when they are most easily able to learn routines, rules, and socialization. Missed the first few months window? Provided you still have a stitch of your sanity left, you can get our infographic on The Four Puppy Training Concepts and consider enrolling your pup in Puppy PhD.
Goal #2: Your puppy wants to party all the time, party all the time. And by party, we mean, play. Make 2017 the year you get outside more with your puppy. Oh, it’s cold out right now, you say? Well, your puppy has a fur coat and you will just need to bundle up. Our favorite snow day game? Catch the snow ball! Your puppy will be amazed by your wizardry when you create a ball that magically disappears in their mouth. Some of our other favorite snow games include follow-the-leader through the snow (your boot prints make a nice track for your buddy) and find the toy (strategically placed in a snow pile). Resolve to make more time to play with your pup this year.
Goal #3: Your puppy craves a crate upgrade. You know we advocate for using the crate—not as punishment, but as a safe, cozy place for your pup to chillax while you’re occupied or he/she needs a break. If your pup is past the point of accidents and can be trusted, let this be the year you pimp their crate. Start with a soft crate bed without filler. We are in (puppy) love with the customizable crate beds from Pride Bites. You can add your pup’s name and picture, feeding their desire to lounge and look at their own cute mug
p.s.: Use our link and the discount code: smilingdog at checkout to get 20% off!
Goal #4: Your puppy desires thinner thighs and tighter abs. Er, well, maybe that is a little projection. However, whether your furry best pal needs to drop some puppy poundage or is at a good weight, but could stand to eat less beer, steak, and pizza, you can add some healthier snacks to their menu. Consider substituting heavier treats with apples (cores and seeds removed),cucumbers, or carrots. Be mindful of not overdoing these treats and other people food lest you be stuck with a pup who turns their nose up at their regular chow.
Goal #5: Your puppy needs to catch that darn tail. Your puppy will have this goal on their list for years to come and, just like so many humans’ goals, it is unlikely to happen. But hey, there’s no shame in trying. For your part, we suggest video taping or photographing attempts and laughing a lot. Then share them on our Facebook page!
Bonus: A few things we hope you resolve NOT to do
1. Teach your puppy English. Your dog doesn’t speak English and he/she isn’t going to learn. Better that you learn to speak dog by learning how to capture your dog’s attention, deliver commands that are clear (in tone), and give-off calm, assertive energy.
2. Give your puppy too much freedom (before it’s earned). Your puppy needs to earn your trust and, with it, additional freedom. You wouldn’t hand your newly licensed teenager the keys to the car and a six-pack, so don’t do the equivalent with your puppy. Keep your puppy’s world small and monitored until they can be trusted, then gradually increase their freedom.
3. Let poor behavior go unchecked. If your puppy is behaving badly, it’s a.) likely partially your fault and b.) something you need to address as soon as possible. If you think your pup’s mishaps make for funny stories, by all means, keep giving him/her free reign. Then, when they go too far, roll up a newspaper and hit yourself on the head with it. Bad owner! Confused puppy.
We could go on, but instead, we’ll wish you and your pup a happy, healthy, and fun-filled new year. May your cuddles be many and your worries be few.