1. The secret to saving your sanity: management! Management management management
Management is the term for physically preventing your pup from wreaking havoc, through the use of things like baby gates, crates, and closed doors.
The people who have the hardest time during the adjustment period are usually the ones who aren’t managing enough.
For example: the puppy who eats out of the cat’s litter box. Gross! How do you stop it? By putting up some kind of barrier to prevent the pup from accessing it.
Before you do anything else, head over to the Foundation course and learn all about this concept. Then plan and implement a management strategy ASAP.
Go here: Foundation: the Core Strategy
2. Start getting your freedom back: teach your puppy to be alone
Feeling like you’re stuck at home is one of the big causes of WTFWIT.
The fact that your puppy won’t let you out of her sight for two seconds without screaming her head off is probably making you feel pretty trapped and claustrophobic. So go learn how to teach your puppy not to cry so much when you walk away or leave the house.
And remember: yeah, you are kinda stuck at home for a while, that’s part of the job. But it’s a very temporary part. Don’t worry, this is NOT what the rest of your life is going to be like.
Go here: Teach Your Puppy to Be Alone
3. When you’re overwhelmed and exhausted and feel like you’ll never bond with your puppy: go play around with socialization
Socialization is very important for puppies, and it’s also the best part of puppy raising! It’s all about playing and exploring and goofing off. A lot of the puppy raising stuff -like potty training, keeping the pup out of trouble, and even obedience training- can feel like a chore and make you wonder why you even bother.
When everything sucks, drop everything and have a socialization adventure. This is what I did when I was deep in depression and WTFWIT with River. Obedience training was too overwhelming, so I dropped it for a while and put all my limited energy into socialization.
- going to the local river and sitting on the bank while River played in the water
- Setting up a backyard playground with cardboard box “forts” and play tunnels and kiddie pools.
Those were the moments when I liked her the most, and felt like we were actually maybe starting to bond. These things are relaxing and fun, and also good for your puppy’s development.
Go here: the Socialization course