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Puppies of mass destruction

09/08/11


Bobby and I added to our family two weeks ago, because it turns out we like to ask each other, “What were we thinking?” every two or so hours.

Fortunately, we did not add a human but instead opted for a sweet little Weimaraner puppy we I named Erma.

There are a couple of reasons we chose canine over human. First, human children take up to two years to get them to potty in the right place as versus a couple of weeks for the little doggies. Of course, you don’t wrap perfectly good carpet around a baby’s butt while you’re training, but we figure you still come out better on a dog.

Secondly, and possibly the most important, dogs do not sass you. At least not in a language I understand.

We brought Erma into a home already occupied by top Weimaraner, Maggie Moo, who is almost four years old. This has increased the intensity level of our home about 100 percent.

I have compiled a list of things I think are worth noting and/or sharing should any of our readers decide to make the same mistake decision we did.

Your sleeping puppy
(Don’t believe them)
Puppies don’t sleep, they recharge. They can run, bite and look ridiculous in their sleep, just like us.

Feeding your puppy
(Finger food 101)
Ideally, puppies should be fed 300 to 500 yards from other, older dogs as well as human hands. Studies have shown that puppies will bite first and ask questions later, if they ever get around to the question part. They also are born thieves and will steal food from others even when their own bowls are full. They also like to eat socks, paper towels, furniture, human digits, shoes, grass, blankets and ponytails at will.

Leash training your puppy
(The art of keeping a
shoulder in socket)

I’m a big fan of Cesar Millan, better known as the Dog Whisperer. His philosophy states that dogs must be exercised, disciplined and loved – in that order. Because of this, we walk our older dog, Maggie, every day. Then we discipline her and love her whether she needs it or not.

I began trying to leash-train Erma the first day we got her. And because I was not in the picture when Bobby acquired Maggie, I had no idea on earth that trying to walk a puppy on a leash was like walking a huge hot air balloon that had a fast leak. And when you walk a leaking hot air balloon, chances are high somebody’s gonna get hurt.

When Bobby and I began dating a few years ago, Maggie was an older puppy – four months old – and in trying to figure out what tool was best to walk her besides tranquilizers, we discovered the pinch collar. Or, as we like to call it, power steering for dogs.

Erma is only three months old, so I tried using a regular leash to walk her, and it felt something like hanging on to a rogue bottle rocket. When that didn’t work, it was recommended that I get some magic lead that mimics a pack leader biting the puppy on the neck so it wouldn’t go in front of me. It was a product of the Dog Whisperer, so I bought it.

After walking Erma down the alley some 50 feet, about 40 of it with her walking on her back legs and her front legs still moving in the air like a tyranasaurus rex, I resorted to plan E.

I went back to the pet store to get a smaller pinch collar. The lady there told me they don’t recommend those for three month old puppies. Actually she told me I really need to take obedience classes. Since I have already taken their class – twice – and I feel no need to be obedient, I purchased the miniature pinch collar.

And it worked, resulting in a 74 percent injury reduction on my part.

Housebreaking your puppy
(Cussing in three languages!)
As I mentioned before, housebreaking a puppy takes about two weeks, and only if you are willing to give up your entire life.

In addition, the human in the house has to be really, really excited every time he or she talks to the puppy about body functions. As in, emcee quality vocals when you say words like “outside, let’s go potty,” Good potty!” “Time for peeps and poops,” and other things you hope to block from your memory. And, you have to say these things about 100 times a day, including in the middle of the night, and risk your neighbors hearing you beg a dog to go potty. And they will.

When they do not go outside as planned, your neighbors will hear you say things like, “Really? On the carpet?” and “You have got to be kidding me!”, as well as various curse words.

Crate Training your puppy
(Your last bastion of sanity)
I would recommend crate training your puppy if you don’t want to kill him or her want a well-balanced puppy.