Self Training While Training Your Puppy

There’s a saying. There’s no such thing as a stupid dog; only a stupid owner. I can’t say I agree with that sentiment wholeheartedly… but I’m pretty much on board with a solid 9 out of 10 if we’re grading statements of truth on a scale. Reason being, I actually did have a dog once when I was little; I swear he was the dumbest thing alive. You couldn’t teach him a single thing and we had him since he was a baby. All he’d do is eat, poop and bark – Chihuahua; go figure. He died. I’m not gonna go into details but it was basically because of his own stupidity.

The next dog we had was a Chihuahua terrier – extremely smart – it was day and night in comparison to our previous dog. He knew all the basic commands; listened to my mom like his life depended on it; not out of fear you see but because he understood that she was his leader. He’d even do a little song when she asked. Amazing dog. Unfortunately, he died too. I’m not gonna go into details on this one either but Russian medicine or lack of (stupid vet) was basically to blame.

Since then my childhood was pretty much dog-less. Fast forward 10 years; I’m an adult and I do what I want. Against all odds and almost all of my friends telling me that I’m not ready, I decide to get a puppy. Now, I don’t do things half way, you see. If I’m gonna do something, I’m gonna do it right; go big or go home. I managed to do both. I went way big and I took home with me a puppy that’s gonna grow up to be the size of a horse.

His mom is a central Asian shepherd – a mountain dog. His dad is a great dane mixed with an English Mastiff. So yeah, as you can imagine, my pup is gonna grow up to be humongous; and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sure, lots of difficulties come along with raising a large dog. It’s much more challenging to find a place to live; they eat way more so naturally it’s more expensive; they’re harder to maneuver since they’re so heavy, so unless your dog is well trained you’re probably looking at some joint problems and scraped knees to say the least. But I mean come on… You have your own giant beast that protects you when needed and hugs you pretty much the rest of the time. It’s not like a cat that only comes by when she’s either in heat or hungry. Don’t get me wrong, there are some cool cats out there so nothing against the species as a whole but dogs do tend to be more loyal and interactive; and they just generally make much better companions.

Training a dog is not easy; whether big or small. For one, I’ve already forgotten what a good night’s sleep is. When I got my pup, I was strict from the start, having my mind set on cage training. Every night I would lock him in there and every night he would cry bloody murder for hours, thinking that I’ve abandoned him. Eventually he got used to it, stopped tearing up everything inside including his bed and toys and patiently waited to be let out to do his business. Sometimes he’d do it on the wee wee pad and other times he’d miss. To this day I’m not sure if the missing was done on purpose or if it was just because he’s so big. Either way, the carpet has to get cleaned. But you guys, his poop though… The bigger the dog the gnarlier the poop; trust me. The whole month that I’ve spent cleaning up after him, I kept thinking of that one scene from Friends; the one with Rachel’s baby shower. She gets a diaper genie, and wondering what it may be, she exclaims “Oh! It dispenses clean diapers!” Upon finding out she was wrong, and that it actually is for the purpose of storing dirty diapers, she is yet again taken aback by the lack of logic on the matter, wondering why you would want to keep such grossness in the house and why you wouldn’t just want to take it outside and throw it in the dumpster. All the mommies kindly explain to her that it would be physically impossible since she’d have to do that 10 times a days, which of course was followed by “It goes ten times a day?! What are we feeding this baby, Indian food?!” LOL – classic Rachel; gotta love her.

But yeah, my dog is a pooper. One time the poopsicle didn’t come out all the way so it was dangling from his butt; he got really confused, jumped up and basically did a 360 in mid-air. It was hysterical.

While it was fun watching him run around and awkwardly bump into furniture, I couldn’t wait for him to get old enough to permanently park his pretty face in the backyard, on the $300 orthopedic bed that I bought for him; in the dog house that I built him from scratch (cause duh, anything that huge would have to be custom). I couldn’t wait to have a good night’s sleep; filled with silence instead of endless crying. I couldn’t wait for him to be off my carpet and free to do his business literally anywhere without me having to pick him up ‘mid-business’ and moving him. I couldn’t wait.

Alas, that moment has finally come. He’s had all his shots, spent the appropriate amount of time indoors and he’s now finally able to-enjoy the beauty that is of the outside world. As great as that is, I wish I could say my sleepless nights and my worries were behind me. Instead, a whole new world of problems has risen. For some reason, every time I lock him behind the fence where he’s got an entire house to himself and plenty of room to run around in, he thinks I’m abandoning him so he cries bloody murder. Now, I’m gone for 14 hours at a time, so all I can say is – my poor neighbors!

Obviously he’s not abandoned. He has food and water while I’m gone and then I come home and I give him plenty of loving before I go to bed, during which he jumps all over me and bites my ears and face in excitement – another problem we’re dealing with. I can’t get him to stop! In the practice of not hitting your child with your loving hand, I invested in a leather glove designed especially for smacking his face every time he misbehaved. Guess what? All that did was make him think that the leather glove is just another toy he can have fun with. I smack him >> zero fucks given. Bark bark bark.

That’s the thing about training a dog. You can’t let emotions get in the way. Yes it’s sad when they look at you with their ‘puppy eyes’ and all you want to do is just hug them and never let them go but you must stay firm. You can’t let them jump on your bed, eat food off the table or even beg for it and you most certainly can’t let them literally walk all over you no matter how exciting, playful and seemingly harmless the situation is. A dog needs to know who’s Boss. Even a lioness won’t feed her cubs until she herself is full.

So here I am with a three month old puppy…  A puppy that thinks everything revolves around him; a puppy that’s gonna be big enough to rest his gigantic paws on my shoulders one day… This puppy is now a part of my life for at least another 12 years. I’m not gonna be able to rent an apartment, ever. My mom is all like “Why did you get a dog so big in the first place? You’re never gonna find a husband now”. So, I’m thinking to myself… How did I get here and why?

Well, here’s why. This dog is a commitment. This dog is equivalent to a baby. This dog gives me structure. This dog makes me practice my patience every single day. This dog makes me come home every night instead of sleeping wherever my drunk self pleases. This dog teaches me how to be more understanding towards those that truly do not understand. This dog is literally the best thing that’s ever happened to me. He hates his dog house and instead of sleeping in his fancy bed he chooses to curl up in the dirt right outside my window. He practically ate his inflatable pool the first day that I got it for him and he doesn’t yet understand the concept of ‘no biting whilst being excited’.

All in all, he’s my child and the biggest challenge I’ve faced yet. & I love it.

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