Settling In and Potty Training
Eddie’s back in another installment of our Puppy Diaries series. Read on to see how Anne Stauff and her family are adjusting to life with their new Golden Retriever puppy.
Home Sweet Home!
After 4 hour trips both ways, my son JR, his girlfriend Kaitlin, and I arrived home with Eddie in tow. We pulled in and JR immediately turned right around for a trip back to Yale. He said he’d be back on Monday. “What?,” I thought, “It’s Saturday!”
It was right then and there that I realized something: this dog that my children wanted so badly, was actually going to be my dog.
Before bringing Eddie home, I read a ton of literature about potty training to give me an idea of what to expect. I knew to put a blanket down next to my side of the bed with puppy gates around it. This was so Eddie would hear and see me, and feel safe throughout the night. I also went to our local Pet Pantry (an amazing place where everyone is super-nice and knowledgeable) and bought Eddie a stuffed animal with a battery-operated heart (to mimic her mother’s heartbeat). This worked pretty well. We made it to about 1AM before I had to take her outside! She woke me up again at 4AM -- at which point she was raring to go! Since she was raised on a farm, I assume this was her normal wake-up time. I’ve got teenagers and melatonin so it's most definitely not when I usually choose to get out of bed!
After the 2nd night, I transitioned her to a crate. She seemed to love it after getting a few treats as incentive. This went on for about a week: wakeup at 1AM, pee, wake up at 4AM wide-eyed and ready to GO! We played tug of war and I re-binged Schitt’s Creek until 7AM when the rest of the house woke up.
By the end of the second week, my husband Joe told me he would wake up with Eddie at 1am. I put my ear plugs in and didn’t move until 5AM the next morning. As I got up to take Eddie out, I thanked Joe for taking her out at 1AM and letting me sleep. He looked at me and said “Oops, I forgot”. And that is the last time any of us had to wake up at 1AM to take her out. I wish I could say we arrived at the new schedule through trial and error, but it was truly a happy accident.
Eddie catches some Z's.
As Eddie settled into our home and got to know us hoomans, we discovered that our puppy is truly unique. Her quirky habits keep us all laughing!
Eddie loves our backyard and we’ve all come to love watching her run back and forth across our covered swimming pool. For her first two weeks with us, this pool cover was also the only place that Eddie would go #2. To complicate things further, she’d only go right in the exact middle of the pool -- the furthest spot from all of us. Watching Joe push a pile of poop into a shovel with some wooden planks was one of the highlights of 2020! When a huge windstorm forced a pile of leaves and poo together in the center of the pool, it was hilarious and gross in equal measure.
Eddie is also in love with our neighbor’s dog Hudson. We realized just how much when she “Shawshanked” her way under the fence to say, “Hi.” Perhaps Eddie’s most unusual habit is her choice of bedroom. She prefers sleeping next to the toilet and we’ve all taken to avoiding that bathroom while she’s dozing.
Our First Trip to the Vet
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, I haven’t actually met our veterinarian, but I love her and her group. On the recommendation of a friend, we chose a practice 2 minutes from our house. We pull into the parking lot, call, and a technician comes out to get Eddie. During the first appointment, I made my son go with me. I wish I had asked my daughter to come along too because I sobbed like a baby!
I was so worried Eddie would be upset with me for making her get shots and scared that I wasn’t in there with her. The veterinarian spent a lot of time with her, called me, and talked us through everything. She took great pains to listen to every single question I had, no matter how small. Eddie was exhausted after the visit, sleeping for about three hours as soon as we got home. Of course, I stood by watching her sleep for the entire nap (like a worried first-time mommy), just in case she had any adverse side effects. As a reward (or probably more of an apology), Eddie got her first bully stick. More on bully sticks another time. Finding out what they are made of rocked my world.
Tips for Potty Training
Anne and Eddie snuggle in their matching puffer jackets.
This tip may sound ridiculous. Every time I took Eddie outside when we first got her, I would say “pee” until she actually peed. Then, I would immediately give her a treat. My neighbors laughed a lot because they heard me saying “pee” like a million times, but it has paid off big time. Now, when I take her out, especially for the last bathroom break of the night, I say “go pee” and it’s immediate. I have friends who use other code words like “do your business”, etc., and wish I had thought of that. For now, it looks like we’re stuck with just “pee.”
My other tip is to bring small treats along for your trips outdoors. Our go-to is Zuke’s Puppy Naturals. Eddie’s favorite flavor is Salmon & Chickpea. I didn’t start bringing treats outdoors with me until about a week into Eddie’s potty training adventure. If I could do it again, I’d have started on Day 1.
Past Diary Entries
Catch up with past entries in Anne and family’s Puppy Diary:
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