We weren’t really 100% what we were getting into with a new dog in an RV, but based on past experiences we were prepared for lots of challenges. I am so pleased to say that so far it has been really terrific. I think adopting a 5 month old puppy has made a huge difference and the fact that he is socialized and friendly helps even more. Let me walk you through it!
Right off the bat we were worried about how Jack would do in the car, but he did very very well. Which is a good thing, because obviously we spend a ton of time in the truck. He didn’t do nearly as well when we stopped at a tractor supply for some basics (leash, collar, etc), but that is mainly because he had never been leash walked and didn’t get it. Since I didn’t want to work on that with all those distractions we just put him in the shopping cart and he tolerated that just fine!
Even though he isn’t leash trained he isn’t a runner, and tends to walk exactly where a leashed dog would heel. Should be pretty simple to get him up to speed. He also did really good with Hobie when they met, and thankfully Hobie did good with him.
And probably most importantly he has both peed and pooped outside. The peeing he did on his own, but the pooping came right after he saw Hobie do it, which was awesome, and Greg says he will only charge us a modest dog training fee 🙂 And really that is where getting a 5 month old (versus 9 week) puppy is a huge advantage because he can apparently hold it for a long time. I am under no illusions we wont have the occasional accident, but he is going hours without going to the bathroom, which is a pretty good sign.
And best of all he is doing fine in the crate. We purchased a 32″ wire crate (with two doors) and added a luxurious puppy bed to it. He has slept in it overnight two nights in a row and the first night he had a tiny accident, but the second night no accident at all. Ultimately we want him to sleep in the bed with us, but need to make sure no accidents first, plus we think occasional crating is a good thing and since we are leaving it out with the door open, it gives him a place to go an hand out during the day if he wants to take a nap. Really though his favorite puppy nap place is Lee’s chair. It’s kind of funny, because Jack has taken it over, and Lee seems totally fine with it. Weird because he doesn’t like it when I sit in “his” chair. I guess we know who matters around here!
What else? Well we were worried about him being super nervous or not social, but that has definitely not been an issue. He has never met a lap he didn’t like and with those big brown eyes, he’s hard to refuse. Even our buddy Dave couldn’t resist, although he’s trying to play it cool!
Aside from the basics, I also had a small list of puppy items I wanted to pick up, so Cori and I took a trip to Walmart and Petsmart. I’ve been Aunt Tracy to Hobie for years now and been buying him lots of squeaky toys and Cori wanted her turn. She got a bagful of stuff, including a Kong, Kong snacks, a stuffed squeaky monkey with a replaceable water bottle inside, and assorted other squeaker toys. She also bought a waste bag and dispenser packet for me, which was super nice. So far at least Jack is more of a people person and would rather be on a lap with someone petting him than play with toys. Hobie on the other hand is dying to get to those toys. I’m fine with him playing with the sturdier ones but we all know he can demolish a stuffed animal in about 8 seconds flat. So I put those away but he just comes in and stares at them, which is pretty funny. It’s a battle of wills, but I am confident I will be the victor!
So potty training is going amazingly well, crate training is going great, but we are keeping an eye on the chewing. Since he is not interested in any of his toys, he has picked up a few small items and gnawed on those. When I saw him with Lee’s reading glasses I knew I would have to do something and reached out to Cori for potential solutions. She had a rawhide strip so we decided to try that and immediately Jack went to town. He was amazing good at manipulating the rawhide to get to his back teeth and munched contentedly for awhile. I know rawhide can cause digestive issues so I did some quick research online, but he was enjoying himself so much I decided to let it go. The main thing is to make sure the chews are made in America and actually I am doing that with all the edible products I buy. Not worth the risk frankly, especially for such a small dog, and the little bit extra it costs is totally worth it.
Finally since he was completely accident free we decided to let him sleep in bed with us on the third night. It’s been a really long time since I slept with a dog. I always thought sleeping with a dog was a quintessential kid experience; our dogs always slept with our girls. I was honestly more worried about how he would impact my hot flashes. Turns out he did great, total snuggle puppy with zero whining or licking through the night. I did wake up at one point with a face full of dog when he crawled onto my pillow but other than that it was really awesome.
I don’t want to jinx this but this dog is amazing! I really feel like I have won the dog lottery and super happy with how this is all going.
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