I was looking back at some photos of when Chutney first came home this past summer and it’s hard to believe he’s now 8 months old! He came home when he was just 8 weeks old… and we were super nervous about bringing this little guy home. One thing that really helped and made us feel more prepared was actually getting some items that we knew we would need: a crate, a pen, the puppy food his breeder told us he was eating, potty pads, some toys, bowls, etc. We waited on the leash and harness since we knew he wouldn’t be going out right away and we wanted to check for proper sizing. It was a team effort and I would not have been able to do it all without the help of my husband, who was very calm and cool throughout the whole process. Meanwhile, it was the night before we were going to pick him up from the breeder and I was freaking out! I was such a nervous wreck that I didn’t sleep at all. I was anxious about the unknown, had no idea what he was going to be like and how to take care of him.
So the day finally came to pick him up…it was so hard seeing him leave his brothers, sisters, and his mom. I still remember watching him play and run around with them. He was definitely the boss and his siblings followed his lead. He could definitely hold his own, even then! I also remember the last thing the breeder said to him before she handed him off to me was “you be good”. It broke my heart to take him away from his family, especially since he had no idea what was going on. When I help him he was very very still and looked at both my husband and I skeptically. He did not trust us yet and made that very clear. I think his way of coping with everything was by sleeping- so that’s what he did for the entire car ride…
He didn’t eat anything his first evening with us (to be expected). He kept staring at us with those tear filled beady eyes as we held him. We tried to talk and comfort him with toys and socks, but he was very unhappy. When it was time to sleep, we put him in his crate and said good night. That’s when the whimpering and howling began. He stopped for a hour or so (total) but was basically up all night crying- and so were we!
After the first night, things got much easier. He slept through the night and still does, thankfully. His pen became his home and we quickly became his mom and dad. He looked to us for guidance, comfort and love. I was on summer break, so I got to spend my days with him- watching him play, eat, sleep and just be:) I started leaving him alone for 15-20 minutes at a time, slowly increasing the amount of time we was home alone. From early on, he has had an independent personality in the sense that he’s more than happy to play but doesn’t need someone around all the time. That has worked out well for us since we have full time jobs.
Since he hadn’t gotten all his shots yet, we made it a point to carry him when we took him out. This way he was able to learn the sights and sounds of his surroundings. He loved going out but was just as happy being indoors- just like now. I can’t wait to take him out for long walks once this winter is over and done with.
So the first few weeks were about all of us getting to know each other and for him to learn his routine. He didn’t need to be potty trained, since he already knew to go on his potty pad. He still needs to be kept in the pen when eating. Otherwise, he becomes distracted and doesn’t finish his meal. We are working on it though! I’m considering changing up his food since he doesn’t seem to be all that interested in it lately.
Overall, I am not sure if we did (or still do) things perfectly when it comes to raising a puppy, but I do know that Chutney is very loved. He is the super star of the family and everyone always asks about him. They even get upset if we visit and don’t bring him along:) In terms of training, he’s been good but because he is so smart, our expectations are a bit high and we don’t let him get away with anything! (well most of the time).