Okay after a long delay I wont go into everything we have been through the last couple months. Because we have very exciting news...we pick up our golden retriever puppy on Saturday!!!
Very very exciting!
I am 6.5 months pregnant we have a 5 year old, a 3 year old, a 4 year old dog and a 1 year old cat...why not introduce a new puppy to the mix!!!
I have started several times to document how we brought a new puppy home with a 1 year old and how we brought a new baby home with a dog a toddler already living there...but that has been 3-4 years ago now since our "baby" is starting preschool in the fall. So since we are doing it all over again I figured I would start from scratch and document the journey!
Here is the preparation we have done so far to help everybody get ready...
- We set up the puppy's crate about a month ago so the kids could get used to it and learn that it was off limits just like Reyna and Feather's crates (as a side note I HIGHLY recommend crate training cats now, I might blog on that topic alone at some point).
- We rolled up our living room rug so it's hardwoods everywhere that puppy will have access to
- We have briefed the kids over and over...puppies bite, puppies jump, puppies eat your favorite toys, we pretend to be puppies and tug on their clothes as they walk by so they know how it feels
- We bought a bunch of fleece and made a whole slew of little tassly tug ropes for the kids to carry around
- We have role played "puppy attacks" so they can practice not panicking and getting the puppy redirected to a tug
- Granted these kids are 5 and 3 years old so they will never be unsupervised with the puppy, but we like to prepare for that moment when the family is playing with the puppy and the smoke detector goes off because we left toast in the oven and both parents rush to address it momentarily forgetting the baby dog...life is crazy, stuff happens
- We are at the point now where even little Penelope recites statements out of the blue like "baby puppies are like real babies, sometimes they mess up your stuff because they don't know any better"...except it comes out as "baby puppies are yike real babies umtimes dey mess up you tuff cause dey doesn't know knee better" precious little dog trainers :)
- We have really talked incessantly about the potential for their favorite stuffies to get shredded to pieces, it could happen. How many people meant for their ball and claw table to get chewed to splinters?
- We got Reyna some Kongs...during the introductory phase everybody will be spending more time in their crates, so we wanted Kongs to be a regular part of our routine prior to arrival
- We talked about the traffic flow, where will the puppy potty spot be? Who will stay up with the puppy if needed during the first few nights? Etc
- We have an introduction plan for all the animals and people...I'll write that up for the next one
- We talked about what would be off limits to puppy for a while, the kids bedrooms being a big one...baby gates will take care off that
- We bought plenty of chew toys for the puppy and for Reyna
- In the areas where puppy will be allowed we have moved everything off of floor level and again emphasized to the kids that leaving anything out in these areas is basically asking the puppy to destroy it.
- We have given the kids refresher training on the "no zones" which include the food bowls, the animals beds, crates and toys. If the dog is near any of those areas they have to call the puppy to them for petting/play do not approach the puppy. This is basic house rules for us, but a new fluffy baby can tend to make even the most well meaning 5 year old forget his coaching, so we might as well re-emphasize.
Next step...the arrival/introduction plan