7 Things I learned In My First Week Of Being A Fur-Mommy | I Got A Puppy!!!

Happy Friday, Loves! It has been almost a month since I've added a post on this blog. I thought I'd just take a little personal break for myself as I adjust to some new medication and familiarize my new puppers to his new fur-ever home! Yes, that's right, I got a puppy!

I adopted Echko exactly a week from Wednesday and have really had my hands full. He is not my first dog, but definitely the very first that I have full responsibility of. There are so many things, this last week, that I've learned and adapted within my lifestyle to make time/space for this sweet baby. So, here are 7 Things I learned In My First Week Of being A Fur-Mommy (including some adorable photos of my puppers)!

I Need To Show Him I Am The Alpha At All Times.
Because Echko is a Husky and Huskies are pack dogs, they are always searching for the Alpha. When there is no Alpha, they presume the position--unless you take it first. From day one, I have been trying to instill in Echko that I am the Alpha and dominant of him. To do so, I make him sit and wait to enter/exit doors until I have done so first; I don't let him climb the stairs until I have done so before him; and I do not allow him to tug the leash (and if he does, I stop walking until he stops). In doing so, I find Echko has very little behavioral issues with me. He almost never tries to bite me (even during play time), he always holds his potty until I take him outside, and he generally listens to my commands ("sit", "wait", "no"). With others, he likes to test them and see how much he can get away with. Once someone lets him get away with something though, I'm finding I have to re-teach him all over again. It has really been a constant work in progress teaching him who is in charge.

Accidents Are Just Learning Experiences. 
When I first got Echko, I was finding potty training rather difficult. Although he was almost fully crate trained, he would potty throughout the house and have accidents even though I had just taken him out and he didn't go while we were outside. I remember my first couple of days, I was pretty frustrated, but knew he wouldn't understand it if I tried to scold him. Instead, I would clean up his potty on a paper towel, bring him outside, put the soiled paper towel in the grass, have him sniff it and say "Good Potty, Echko!" then bring him back inside. Within the next couple of days, he began showing me when he needed to go outside, and now he's almost fully potty trained. I learned what signs he shows when he needs to go outside, and he's learned how to notify me when he needs to go. I definitely needed to keep reminding myself that his accidents were continuous learning experiences for him.

There Is No Better Feeling Than Seeing He Learned Something I Have Been Trying To Teach Him. 
You have absolutely no idea how amazing I felt the first night I let him sleep on the dog bed instead of inside of his crate and he held his bladder until I took him outside the next morning. I felt so proud that he is learning where it is and isn't appropriate to go potty and that my hard work was actually teaching him something. Exactly a week after bringing him home, he is basically potty trained!!!

Consistency (From Everyone) Is Key. 
I find myself constantly reminding other people that they must teach my dog similarly to the way that I do. I am a very strong believer of positive reinforcement. I don't necessarily use treats every time, but I always praise him (always way over-done like a puppy-party) when he does something good. If he nips or has an accident, I let others know that they cannot use their own form of discipline because Echko will just get confused or aggressive. I don't allow any forms of hitting on Echko. He just sees it as a threat, more so than discipline, and retaliates. Instead, I recommend others to just stop playing with him if he's being too aggressive--that way he learns that rough play makes others not want to play at all. In situations where I notice others don't take my suggestions seriously, I just remove Echko all together from the environment. With consistency from everyone around him, I'm finding he's learning rather quickly his boundaries.

Don't Praise Bad Behavior (Even Though He Looks Adorable Doing It!)
One morning, after having breakfast together, Echko and I decided to say "good morning" to my sister in her bedroom. When we entered her room, Echko took one of her socks off the floor, bolted down the stairs and hid behind the couch. As hilarious as it was, I tried so hard not to laugh because I knew condoning this behavior would have him continuing to do so in the future. You have no idea how badly I wanted to laugh through the whole thing, but instead I had to teach him that what he did was bad. Ugh, why are dogs so cute when they do things they aren't supposed to?

Enjoy It While They Are Small.
In just one week, Echko has grown so much. It's actually unbelievable. Because he is a Husky, he is actually growing like a wildfire. In just 7 days, his body has grown longer, his legs are taller, and he is so much bigger that we already had to extend his crate so that he can fit comfortably. He still has so much more growing left to do, but it just amazes me how much heavier he is getting. Every morning, I usually carry him straight from his crate to the back door, to prevent wake-up accidents in the house; but every morning, I am noticing how much more strength I am needed to use to do that. I also cradle him while he sleeps sometimes, but lately I'm noticing he's just getting bigger and bigger. It's crazy how fast he is growing.

Puppies Really Do Make Life Better.
It is such a shift in life to realize I am in charge of another life. While it can sometimes be very difficult (because he's a big stinker when he wants to be), he really has made my life feel so much more complete. Because I know his existence relies so heavily on me, I feel more motivation to get up early in the morning, get out of bed, and do things for him. When I'm feeling a bit sad or frustrated, he makes me feel so much happier with his snuggles and puppy kisses. Watching him grow this last week has just been life changing and I'm so excited to have him around for the rest of his life!

It has been an amazing experience so far, raising a puppy, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for me and this little fur ball! If you'd like to see more photos of this cutie, make sure you follow him on Instagram at @EchkoTheHusky! I post photos and videos daily of him, his new experiences, and new adventures.



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