It’s been just over 5 months since our beagle pup joined our lives and for those of you wondering, it’s been one of the most exciting and challenging chapters of my life!
I had been meaning to write this article sooner, but as you can imagine it’s been full on raising our puppy son Oakley.
Whilst we had spoken about getting a puppy for the past few years, I am not sure if there is anything that can prepare you for this adjustment, however I hope this post provides you with some direction if you are thinking about bringing home a new pup!
I know every article out there says research, but really you should! Take the time to understand the breed – the good parts and the not so good, or even reach out to other dog owners that have the breed of dog you are planning to get to ask for their opinion. Remember this will just be from their perspective as every puppy is different.
As mentioned, whilst we had been talking about getting a puppy for a long time, it all happened very quickly due to how competitive the market has been. Very unlike me, we jumped at the opportunity one Sunday afternoon and had 1 hour to prepare – yes 1 hour! It was a team effort between myself and my husband to get the basics items together (bedding, food, toys, treats, toilet training mats, water bowl and blankets). Big W and Kmart were our go to shops based on price and variety as we were not sure what he would like.
Both my husband and I thought we were patient people before we got a pup and I think we are, however, a puppy will test your limits. Let’s face it, the journey of learning is not enjoyable, but seeing progress is what makes you want to keep pushing forward.
Teaching your pup good habits early on should be your top priority in the first few months. By establishing a good routine and standing your ground on what is right and wrong (no matter what) you will create a solid foundation for your pup and your own lifestyle. We used the Zak George dog training videos for reference which have been super helpful!
Socialising your dog at an early age is extremely important for their development. It is somewhat difficult between the 8-16 week period to do this as your pup will not be fully vaccinated until 16 weeks. In saying this, enrolling in a puppy school with other pups that are within that age bracket is ideal as they also would be in the same position. I highly recommend Best Friends puppy school. Beyond the 16 weeks we have made an effort multiple times per week to go to a dog park and continue having positive interactions with other dogs. One of our favs is Tirhatuan Park which is fenced off making it a safe space for your puppy to be off the lead and run around.
If you are doing your research currently I highly recommend crate training. If you have never heard of the term before you have a cage that has your pup’s bedding and this should feel like a safe space for him or her to go into. Some people will do all the feeding of meals in the crate, however we only used this method for sleeping.
The first night Oakely came home we were honestly just hoping for the best – we didn’t have a crate and he spent the night in our powder room on a fleece blanket and doona (we thought it would be perfect!) he didn’t agree and we were up every hour and half to comfort him. After more research and looking back it didn’t feel very safe for him, trust us when we say your dog will let you know what is working and what is not!
Top product recommendation
The likipad that I bought online from Pet Circle is by far the best product we have bought for our pup! As beagles are very smart this product is perfect as it keeps him entertained for long periods of time and to slow down how fast they eat.
Pet Circle has a great range of products from flea treatments to on trend toys and bedding that is also priced really well making it my go to pet website.
Ready to take action? We suggest these next steps:
- Research the breed/s you are interested in
- Write a list of basic items to buy prior to bringing your pup home
- Make a plan for training, socialisation and enjoying
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Ash + Lauren