Dog Blog

5 Tough Lessons You Learn by Getting a Dog

I once met a neighbor who told me she would rather have a 4th child than getting another dog.

 

Especially if you get them as puppies. From training, to food, toys, supplies, boarding, you are now responsible for this pup’s life. And sometimes the ride can be smooth, or crazy. Although dogs leave us way too soon in our lives, they leave behind lessons that help us grow and love as people. That’s why they’re man’s best friend. Here’s 5 big lessons you’ll probably walk away with after you own a dog.

1. Patience

Training sessions are important. Even older dogs get to learn new tricks, or get to learn how to live with a new family.  We got lily at 12 weeks old. The first couple nights we woke up multiple times in the night to let her out to go potty (she has a small bladder as a puppy). We also had to train her to walk, sit, stay, shake, respond to her name, and understand the house rules.

It’s a long process, and while dogs are quick learners, they can also be smarter than you think. They’ll know how to push your buttons and get away with things. Lily chewed up every single one of my shoes, a few clothes items, 4 remotes, a door stop, DVD boxes, and even ripped a hole in our sheets. She has even taken t the ER within her first 6 months. She one woke up at midnight and had diarrhea….guess who cleaned it up….

Dog can suffer anxiety, allergies, fears, or high-energy levels. Each dog is different, and each training journey can be different. They will jump on everything, smell every inch of the house, and do just about everything they’re not supposed to for a little while; and you can really only just let them be, and train them to not do that. You have to wait until they learn not to follow their instincts, but rather your teachings. And that could take some time.

Eventually your pup will be just as behaved as other dogs you’ve seen or been around. But a dog is probably one of the greatest testers of patience. But it’s absolutely worth a little trouble for years of fun and memories.

That’s why some of us are so obsessed with our fur babies.

2. Perspective

So many dogs out there get abused and go through pain, and unfortunately they can’t understand it’s not their fault. A pup just wants to be a part of a pack and be happy, and they don’t know why they get punished or hurt by their humans. A dog is not just a pet; they become part of the family, and you become their whole world.  Take a second and look up videos of what dogs when you’re not home. They wait for YOU! Research shows that they sense emotions, and let’s be honest – who else gets so hype about you coming home?

This is a painful lesson for me to live with. If I had the money and resources, I would own acres of land and shelter all the dogs I could fit comfortably. Nothing breaks my heart now more that seeing a dog get abused, because they don’t understand what’s going on, and they don’t deserve it.

And a lot of people don’t realize that until they have a dog of their own to love.

3. Sacrifices

Before a dog:

  • Husband: Let’s spontaneously go away for the weekend.
  • Me: Ok!

With a dog:

  • Husband: Let’s spontaneously go away for the weekend.
  • Me: Who would watch the dog, take her out, and feed her on schedule? Who’s going to play with her and do training? I do NOT trust doggy hotels.

It’s true that having a dog is kind of like having a baby, but about 10 levels easier (out of 20).

If there’s one thing that will never be the same, it’s your freedom to go out and do things. You will either have to plan way ahead of time to leave the puppy in good hands, have to plan around to be able to bring the puppy, OR just not go and stay with your puppy. To us this isn’t really a huge deal, because we like to go to parks and outdoor areas. We have plenty of options where Lily can join us. I’m starting to realize this whole things almost prepares you for parenthood.

4. Teamwork makes the dream work

It took a village to train our Labrador. From greetings to social events, we had to teach her how to not be so crazy 100% of the time. Now we just to work on her not knocking little kids over…..

My husband and I read plenty of blogs, watched videos, then talked it out until we reached an agreement. We had to be on the same page for everything in order to ensure we didn’t confuse our dog.

If there’s one thing you HAVE to do in order to keep your sanity, is split the duties if possible. Because if I had to do all the training, I might have lost my mind when I saw no progress. Plus our first few weeks we were extremely sleep deprived and tired, so we only had each other and coffee to get us through. It also really helps to have your partner in puppyhood calm you down if you ever are about to lose your sh%t.
Our neighbors are mostly all doggy owners too. Their advice has helped out, and so has their fence (we put lily in to run around one night and play with the neighbor’s dogs to give her some exercise).

Honestly, doing it all by yourself is a brave choice if you ask me.

5. A special love for your new companion

Dogs age 7 times faster than we do. And no matter what stage of life they join us in, they always teach us how to love another living thing like a human. Their love and happiness is simple and unconditional. for many of us, a dog has been a part of our child hood, teenage years, marriage/kids years, or retirements years. They are there for you during the best and worst of times ready to play and love you no matter what.

The grow such a strong bond in your hearts, it’s hard to think they live such a small amount of time.

It’s at the end of your chapter together that you really begin to think about this stuff, and how they have changed your life for the better, but it’s never too early to appreciate your time with your dog. The small moments now will be incredible heartwarming memories in your life later on.

Now go find your pup and give them hug and good belly rub.

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