Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Puppy Love

 A dog’s love is unconditional and everlasting. Some of us prefer to adopt older, well-mannered and trained dogs and then there are many of us that venture into the “Puppy Realm”. The sleepless nights and constant observance, exactly like taking care of a human baby, minus the crate. Big dog, small dog, breed, temperament, character, a lot goes in to picking that perfect puppy, and there is a lot to consider. 

I asked Jacala H., a proud momma of a 5-month-old Toy Fox Terrier, how she decided to choose Savy the pup. “I tend to like small breeds better. Large dogs give me an overwhelming feeling. I like cuddling with small dogs too.” Jacala found Savy after an unexpected tragic passing of her dog, Bella. Bella was her baby and Jacala knew that she needed another dog to love immediately. 

Adopting Savy has been a huge undertaking since Jacala was very new to puppy training when she got Savy. She has done extensive research and consulted with trainers as to approach how to train the new- found love of her life. “Small dogs are fiery, harder to teach obedience. A lot of people do not make small dogs accountable for their behavior. Small dogs are cute and get away with more. I have been working on Savy and her love of barking!” 

Jacala’s philosophy in puppy training consists of positive reaction, love and treats, kind words and tones. She advises that if positive reaction is not working, the puppy needs to be taught with a consequence. She says some people use water bottles, vibration and pressure from slip collars to correct a behavior such as biting. It is important to find a way to deter bad behavior from happening. Jacala discourages putting the dog in their crate for negative reinforcement because you want the dog to feel secure and safe, and view their crate is a soothing place to spend time during the day and night. “Savy is food-driven, so cheer and treats work well to reward good behavior. Savy will do anything for food.” 

Savy’s personality is very different from Bella’s. Bella was shy and needed to be socialized when I first acquired her from my friend. Savy, on the other hand, is very social but maybe a little too confident for her own “2.5 pound-self.” She will approach any large dog no problem! 

All in all, “puppy love” has found Jacala. Although the worst part of a owning a puppy is getting up and taking Savy outside during the night. The bad far outweighs the good. “The best part of owning a puppy is you get to start from scratch. I enjoy Savy’s playfulness and how everything is new to her.” 

Having a new dog in the family, whether it be a mature dog or a puppy like Savy, one thing is for sure. There are no words to describe what a dog adds to your life. They quickly become one of the family. The care you provide to your dog returns to you in a faithful and loving friend that holds you to the center of their entire universe. They depend on your love. Spans of time away from your dog feels like an eternity to them. The sweet cuddles of a puppy are joyful and soothing. “Puppy love” is well worth it but watch out! It’s contagious! 

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