When caring for your new dog turns out to be a lot harder than you expected
Sometimes when you get a dog, everything goes swell. You pick up your new Man’s Best Friend from the shelter or the breeder and ride off into the sunset to live happily ever after.
But sometimes it does not go swell.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, everything seems to go wrong. Some problem comes up that makes you doubt whether you can actually handle this.
You may encounter problems like:
- Your puppy never stops biting
- Your puppy plays too rough with the kids, and now the kids are afraid of the puppy
- Your dog pees all over the house
- You can’t leave the dog alone for five minutes without her getting into trouble or whining her head off
- Your adorable puppy doesn’t seem to like you… and you don’t like him
- The thought of sustaining this puppy-care workload makes you want to curl up in a ball and die
Maybe you’ve tried teaching your dog manners, but it hasn’t worked. There’s so much dog training information and so many conflicting opinions out there, where do you even START?
Maybe you feel bad for putting your family through this stress. You wanted your dog to be a buddy for your kids. Instead, the kids are upset and tensions between your family members have skyrocketed.
You might think you’re in over your head. Like maybe you should just return the puppy and be done with it – and you feel pretty crappy for even considering such an option.
No matter what you’re experiencing, one thing is for sure:
You knew getting a dog would be a challenge, but holy crap, you were not prepared for THIS.
It’s probably making you wonder: “dog ownership is supposed to be fun! What gives? Do I have a horrible puppy? Am I a horrible person?”
No, you’re not a horrible person. And you don’t have a horrible puppy.
What you’re experiencing is actually pretty common. Allow me to explain.
Why this is so freakin’ hard
Getting a dog disrupts every part of your life. A new dog, especially a puppy, requires a ton of attention. You don’t get much sleep, all your daily routines get screwed up, and your free time evaporates.
You want to make sure you do this right, but information overload has you second-guessing your every move.
Add your dog’s obnoxious behavior to this mix of self-doubt and sleep-deprivation, and you have a recipe for something I like to call:
The “What The #*^& Was I Thinking?!” phase of dog ownership (WTFWIT, for short)
This phase can begin a few hours, days, or weeks after you bring your dog home.
5 Signs You’re Experiencing a Case of WTFWIT
- I’m a prisoner in my own home
- I’m pretty sure I adopted the worst dog in the world
- My old dog was so much better
- I resent this dog and I feel guilty for resenting the dog
- I had dogs growing up and/or I did a ton of research, but I was not prepared for THIS
If you can relate to these statements (or anything else we’ve talked about so far) you’re smack in the middle of the WTFWIT phase. Your brain has hit the panic button. “I’ve made a terrible mistake! Abort mission!”
This is why you’ve found yourself tempted to get rid of the dog, even though you never thought you’d be the kind of person who would get rid of their dog.
You don’t hear about it much, but this phase happens to many new puppy parents. It’s normal. It’s temporary. But judging by all the dogs who get returned within weeks of being adopted, not everyone makes it through. The WTFWIT phase breaks a lot of good people.
The good news: it’s not too late
You don’t have to get rid of your dog.
You can still have that glorious interspecies friendship you’ve always dreamed of.
You can still live happily ever after. It’s just gonna take some work.
Just like pretty much everything else that’s worth doing, right?
What’s included in the book
This guide is designed to get you through the What The **** Was I Thinking phase and create a great relationship with your dog.
This ebook will help you:
Get your puppy to stop biting and play gently with you and your kids
- A training plan that actually works
- What to do if you’ve tried the “yelping” thing and it didn’t work
- How to tell if your puppy is playing or being aggressive
- Why most people have trouble getting their puppies to stop biting
- Why a zero-tolerance training plan is actually a bad idea
- How to stop your puppy from harassing your children
- How even little kids can teach the puppy not to bite
Housetrain your dog even if he’s had a lot of accidents
- An easy-to-remember strategy you can use no matter what your situation is like
- How to housetrain your puppy when you work all day
- What to do when your dog refuses to go to the bathroom outside, or when you’re watching
- What to do if your dog pees as soon as you bring him inside
- How to create a daily routine that will speed up housetraining and make everyone’s lives easier
- How dogs instinctively “potty train” themselves and how you can take advantage of those instincts
- How to handle accidents so they don’t happen again
- Two very common yet surprising ways you might be making potty-training problems worse
Stop your dog’s bad habits in their tracks
- The number one reason people have trouble with their new dogs, and how to easily fix it
- How to handle behavior problems so you don’t develop an ulcer
- Dog-friendly tools to immediately stop bad habits from getting worse (no harsh training collars necessary)
- How a dog crate can be your best friend… if you use it correctly
- How to teach your dog to love her crate
- The big mistakes that make dogs hate their crates
- The reverse-psychology crate training game
- Exactly how long you can keep a dog crated
- How to choose and set up your crate for best results
- An alternative for when crate-training doesn’t work
- The best chew toys to keep your dog occupied and out of trouble
- How to teach your dog not to freak out when she’s alone
Create good habits and build a strong bond with your dog
- Training methods that don’t just teach your dog manners, they teach him that you are a trustworthy person who’s worth listening to
- How to use “leveling up” to improve your dog training results
- Five fun, easy training games the whole family can play
- How to teach your dog to sit: the only formal obedience cue you need right now
- The best dog treat for training (hint: it’s not a “dog treat”)
- How to train a dog who won’t work for food
- How to use anything your dog likes as a training reward
- The four absolutely critical dog training rules that ALMOST NO ONE PAYS ATTENTION TO (follow these rules and you’ll be ahead of the game)
Stop being stressed and overwhelmed, and get your life back
- How to survive bedtime with a puppy who whines all night
- How to handle the Gremlins of Self-Doubt and crush WTFWIT-phase panic
- Exactly what to expect from a new dog – what’s normal and what’s not
- Which discouraging new-dog behaviors are actually totally fine, so you can stop worrying
- How to safely keep your dog contained, so you can take a break from constantly supervising him
This is not a comprehensive dog training guide. It’s a quick-and-dirty dog training guide. Because I’m operating under the assumption that you are tired and don’t have a lot of time to sit around reading. It’s just the stuff you need to get through this trying time, and not much else.
The training methods are positive and effective, based on a modern understanding of how dogs learn. These training methods will help you and your new buddy start to love and trust each other. And most importantly, they’ll get your puppy to FINALLY STOP BITING.
This book is part pep talk, part step-by-step instructions. I’ll walk you through the crazy process of incorporating a dog into your life. Sometimes I’ll hold your hand and murmur comforting things in your ear, and sometimes I’ll kick you in the ass.
In a motivational, loving way, of course.
Don’t you worry. We got this.
Language disclaimer: This is the only dog training guide I’ve ever seen that uses the word “s**t.” Not excessively, but still. If that’s your thing, awesome. If that’s not your thing, no problem. If you’d like a recommendation for some good dogs books with less-salty language, drop me a line.