Puppies: What the Training Manuals Don't Say

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“Is a puppy more work than you thought it’d be?” This is the most-asked question of me since “Sprig” arrived in my household one month ago.
 
I’d read the books on puppies and watched some videos, but in hindsight, they’re remarkably desensitized. A few examples:
 
The manual said: Pup may whine his first night or first few nights away from his littermates.
In reality: Bellying her size, pup will let out primordial death howls. She will not sleep, nor will you, and you’ll wonder about the sincerity of neighbors who say they “didn’t hear a thing.”
 
The manual said: Encourage pup to play with his own toys.
In reality: You will go to the pet store and spend $50 on toys. Pup will spend five minutes playing with each, a buck per minute per toy. Pup will find socks, stocking caps and empty yogurt containers much more to her liking. Pup will not reimburse you the $50.
 
The manual said: Pup may nip hands and fingers as he’s teething and learning to control the power of his jaws.
In reality: Reality bites, and there will be blood (it will not be pup’s… )
 
The manual said: Pup may “eliminate” on the carpet. They don’t yet have the ability to hold it.
In reality: Your carpet will be eliminated. You didn’t need that security deposit anyways, right?
 
So is a puppy more work than I’d originally thought? Yes.
 
But would I trade it for anything? No.
 
Previous “My First Bird Dog” posts:
 
Introducing “My First Bird Dog”
What I’m Looking For
Gun Dog Experts’ #1 Piece of Advice
Just Show Me the DOGFAX
Why Attend a Hunt Test or Field Trial?
What Was Your First Bird Dog?
Stuck Between Two Litters
Rationalizing the Sticker Shock
Best Bird Dogs for an Apartment
When everyone’s a Dog Expert
Meet My First Bird Dog!
 
Anthony’s Antics Afield is written by Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor. Email Anthony at AHauck@pheasantsforever.org and follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauckPF.