lifestyle

Meet Teddy!

Since I moved to the city over a year ago, I just knew that I wanted a puppy. I also knew that I was going to have to wait a bit before finally becoming a dog owner: transitioning into the real world, working insanely long hours, and getting my bearings in the city were just a few of the reasons.
I definitely had that “itch,” but I knew I wasn’t ready for one. Right before I quit my job, I started seriously considering it. I reconfirmed with my apartment building that I could have a small dog, researched different breeds, and took a serious consideration of whether or not I was truly ready.
It was one of those things that had been a long time coming, but ultimately felt like it happened oh-so-suddenly. Even though I had ton the preparation ahead of time, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t completely scared. My family never had a dog growing up so they seemed kind of foreign to me…
Nevertheless, Teddy was mine as of Saturday and it’s been a really fun and really exhausting couple of days! Puppies are great and adorable, but definitely lots of work. It’s been so fun to watch his personality really come out. Teddy is super super super playful and spunky, but also loves to snuggle and cuddle.
I don’t think that all the reading and researching in the world will ever prepare you enough. Once the puppy landed in my arms for the first time, it was an overwhelming sense of responsibility, terror, and love. All mixed together. My biggest thing right now is that I’m super afraid of making mistakes with Teddy! But I’m taking it one day at a time and doing my absolute best. So far, so good. I get more comfortable every hour that passes…
I have tiny Teddy-sized tennis balls and he finally figured out how to pick it up with his teeth…. he’s so determined running after it and trotting back to me with the ball.  We’re working on the potty training thing and it’s not exactly as bad as I thought it would be. (He’s so smart!) I will admit, I cannot wait until he sleeps through the night. Or at the very least for more than an hour. Everyone, thankfully, warned me about being exhausted and they, unfortunately, were not kidding.
My favorite things so far:
Teddy sitting on top of my feet while I’m at my desk.
When he drinks water and his little chin gets all wet.
Watching him carry the tennis ball back so proud!
Having him follow me around the apartment throughout the day.
I’m excited to see him grow into his giant puppy paws and learn more about his personality. (I’m also excited to personally get more comfortable and trust myself more with him!)
Anyone have any tips for new puppies?

xoxo
PS Teddy is on Instagram: @TheodoreFitzpatrick… I’m pretty partial, but it’s a lot of cuteness.

93 Comments

APuckett

I have poodles & just be aware they get really bad allergies (their eyes run) so make sure you keep his hair trimmed out of the corners of his eyes b/c it will gunk up, esp the apricots! He's adorable, btw! πŸ™‚

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Maureen McCarthy

Make sure the food you give him is a good brand and has good ingredients in it. Also, dogs have super sensitive stomachs and switching brands or even types of the same brand of dog food can really mess up their tummies. So make sure you're consistent on what dog food you give him. Another tip, there are constant recalls on treats and dog food from China. So read labels and check to see where they are from! He's adorable! Enjoy him!

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Eliane S

My uncle is a vet and what he tells me is that vet brands aren't any better than regular store brands so don't bother getting anything from a vet clinic even if it says it will help with this or that!

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Lauren

He is so cute! I have always had larger dogs growing up, but a few years ago when I was in college one of my friends parent's were selling mini yorkie puppies and I fell in love! She is so small and has such a big and sweet personality! Honestly compared to the larger dogs I had growing up, I've found that small dogs are more like children then a dog. I think my best tip was when I was "training" her I just gave her a treat for all the positive things she did and just didn't have a reaction for the bad; the good things about dogs is they really want to please you. I would also recommend to train him to use puppy pads, I love them, I never have to take her out when it rains or is really cold, she just uses her puppy pad and it's so easy!

Lauren,
http://www.atouchofsoutherngrace.com/

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Miss Cat

I agree with Lauren regarding training! When I got my puppy, I carried a bag of treats with me EVERYWHERE. Not only did it help us bond and teach her that I was giving of wonderful things, it helps to constantly reinforce positive behavior. To this day, my dog's recall is the best of any dog I've ever met (a must in a city with lots of cars).

http://oddlylovey.com

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Amanda

Carly,
I came across your blog several weeks ago via Pinterest and since then it has become part of my daily routine. Some of your posts have inspired me to organize and create a few different things and I'm loving that I've found someone who shares a similar style… I'm an admitted J. Crew addict, adore Kate Spade and I have a serious stationary problem.
Anyway, "meeting" Teddy today has inspired me to post this comment. He is absolutely adorable! I'm sure that you're getting stopped left and right on the street when you take him out. As for puppy parenting advice, this is the best bit I got when my Colby was a pup… Good habits are easy to teach and ought to start from the get-go and chew-toys are an important necessity (especially when shoes are at risk).
I'm sure that you and Teddy will be the best of friends. Whoever said that diamonds were a girl's best friend, obviously never had a dog πŸ˜‰

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kissletsathome.com

Same for cutting his nails – I have a chihuahua that lets me cut and file her nails (I don't like the sharp edges if she's in my lap). I started when she was a baby, doing it every two weeks so she'd get super used to it. It helps that her nails are light, so it's easy to see where the quick is and avoid it.

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Christina Quinn

This is a great point – if you can make teeth brushing a habit it will save you a lot of money in the long run and hopefully prevent your pup from having to be knocked out with anesthesia to have them professionally done.

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Hunter

I love your new puppy so much! When I first got my own puppy training was pretty hard because my dog is super stubborn, but she is really smart. One thing I would say is just take your time with training and be patient; it is definitely hard work, but totally worth it πŸ™‚

Hunter
Prep on a Budget

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Caitlin

My graduation present from college was maltipoo puppy and she is the best thing that every happened to me. I can't imagine life without her! My biggest puppy tip is NO human food. It is the one thing I was really persistent with it and I am so thankful I was. She NEVER begs and she will be sitting on my lap while I am eating something and she won't even try to sniff at what I am eating. She completely ignores it. Best thing I ever did with her.

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ExecutiveKnitter

Advice: Prep early for the chew phase. It hits before you know it. Lock your shoes away (this can be an expensive mistake)- they love the smell of feet. He does not know the difference between a good thing to chew and a old (don't care) thing to chew. If you don't want him to chew your good magazine,shoe, book etc – don't give him any old versions of those things. Get good chew toys and be consistent about making him chew those. Don't pay games with your hands and let him bite/chew – cute now – painful later.

As cute as he is now – don't take him everywhere with you. Teach him to separate. This was a huge mistake we made. So cute to take everywhere and fun to be with and Husband retired, our dog was constantly with one of us for months. (we didn't crate train) When he got older/bigger and we had to start leaving him – he had TERRIBLE separation anxiety. IT WAS THE WORST. Very destructive- ate the couch, barked, chewed door jams, dug at the door til his nails bleed. (after months of training sessions – we ended up having to drug him when we went out til he out grew – age 3yrs) Teach him now that he can be alone.

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EMC

I went out to the bar one night my 2nd semester of law school and came home with an australian shepherd puppy…no joke. The timing was totally "wrong", but I don't know if I would've made it through law school without his company those long hours of studying. I got him in February so I remember sleeping with UGGs and a coat next to my bed and setting the alarm every 2 hours, then every 3, then every 4…exhausting as it was at the time I had him potty trained in no time (at least that what it feels like looking back ;). Whatever you do, don't use potty pads. I know it sucks taking them out from apartments (I lived on the 21st floor), but once he is potty trained and doesn't have to go out as much, it won't seem so bad and you will be so glad you never caved and used them! Hang in there, puppyhood is exhausting if you're doing it right, but it'll be over before you know it and you'll have a low-maintenance (in comparison), well-trained companion for life!

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Emi

Definitely agree about not using the puppy pads – it seems like a good idea, but you're actually teaching them it's okay to go in the house. Crate training also helps with potty training, since (most) dogs won't go to the bathroom where they sleep!

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Julie Lovenbury

Aw he's so sweet! My first dog growing up was named Teddy, and we had him 16 years! Is he a mini goldendoodle? Make sure you take him on long walks and play with him a lot before bedtime- when they're exhausted they sleep a (little bit) longer. Congratulations!

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Bonnie J

Precious doesn't begin to cover it. I very much have the puppy itch and think I'll take the dive after this semester. I want a little fluff ball to call my own!

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Ashley

Some good advice to help with potty training is to pick up/empty his water bowl around 7pm-ish. I'm also a fan of taking mini-kong toys, filling them with peanut butter, and then freezing them. It will keep him busy!

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Lauren

Picking up a pet's water bowl would certainly make it easier to prevent night-time accidents, however, as someone who works in the veterinary profession I have to chime in here–your pet should ALWAYS have free access to water, even at night time, and should never be restricted on his or her water intake. Great advice with the Kong, that's definitely something that will keep them occupied and focus their energy into something good (and yummy!).

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Fairy Princess Jord

Oh my gosh congratulations!!! Puppies are so much fun and worth every sleepless night and chewed up pair of shoes (but seriously be careful with your shoes). Teddy is adorable!

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Heather C. Watson

I'm a huge proponent of crating. If you start them early, they really do believe that the crate is their personal space. Six years in, my black lab goes to his crate on his own.

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oneweeksday

Make sure that you have a lid on your dirty clothes hamper or keep it in a closet where he can't get to it. Puppies like to chew up your underwear.

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Catherine Hannum

I got my dog, Hattie, at the end of May. Hattie is a rescue, so working with her is different I am sure then working with a happy puppy. However the thing I have found to hold true with any dog I've spent time around, and especially Hattie, is to stay calm. If you're nervous they can sense that "energy," as silly as that sounds. When I first got Hattie I was so nervous and nuerotic about making sure I was doing the right thing. As soon as I relaxed, her personality started to show through and she became so much easier to train. Every dog is different and everyone's experience training is different; but I can guarantee that if you are confident and relaxed, training Teddy will be a much better experience. Good Luck! He is super cute!!

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carly

Ahhh! Thank you for saying this! I've honestly been so nervous about every little thing. But I think I'm getting more comfortable and hopefully he'll pick up on that πŸ™‚

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Alex

Teddy is adorable! Puppies are exhausting, I'm not sure how old Teddy is but it will probably take a couple months before he's fully out of his puppy stage and gets used to a routine but trust me the unconditional love you feel for a dog is an amazing feeling!
-Alex
http://www.monstermisa.blogspot.com/

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Nicole K

Since I have gotten my first dog 6 years ago, I can't imagine a life without one. After Neela past( She was hit by a car :() I was glad I still had DiNozzo. He is the best medicine for my depression or even when I am just burned out and stressed from school and motherhood. He snuggles up on me in bed and keeps me cozy. But he also likes to kick my husband out of bed, even though he is a mini schnauzer he will push against my husband until my hubby had enough of it and just moves hahah Enjoy the Puppy Breath as long as you can ;P

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Savannah

Number one tip is get a Kong and fill it with peanut butter. My dog goes crazy for it and loves it more than any bone or treat!

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Model A designs

I have been trying to talk my husband into a dog since we were married almost 10 years ago! I grew up with a small dog and most of my childhood memories include that snuggly dog. Your new addition just upped my efforts in talking the hubby into one of our own πŸ˜‰

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Marie*

I'm in love with little Teddy and can't wait to get a puppy myself πŸ™‚ There so much time management to figure out first though…

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Southern Prep

Welcome to NYC, Teddy! He is so precious.
I decided to get a Labrador my junior year of college and although my family always had a dog growing up, it was an enormous amount of responsibility that I wasn't used to.
My training suggestions are to use positive reinforcement (food, lots and lots of praise) and when necessary a firm "NO" is more than effective; dogs know when you're upset and it's not necessary to scream or smack them. I chose to crate train my dog because when I'm in class I don't want her running around my apartment chewing on the door frames or tearing up my rug or floors, (I learned the hard way that dogs love shoes and now my favorite Tory Burch flats are in heaven). I started just putting her in there for a few minutes at a time while I was home and when she was quiet and good I would give her treats. As long as the crate is big enough for him to move around, stand and sit comfortably, he will be fine. Savannah Grace weighs 60 pounds and I got a crate for a dog 80-120 pounds so she would have lots of room. She voluntarily gets in her crate every morning when I brush my teeth and I'm sure to reward her with a treat.
My biggest tip is to not make a big deal when you're leaving and be over affectionate to compensate because that creates separation anxiety and that's when they whine and chew up things when you've left.
Make sure you socialize him a lot with both men and women because my dog has only really been around women and men make her nervous.
You really can't use the puppy pads and expect your dog to know the difference between going outside and inside, especially when you're just starting to train him, so I advise against them. It is really annoying taking him outside in the winter but it's more annoying to have your apartment smell like pet odor. When I was training Savannah Grace, whenever I took her outside to use the bathroom, I would ring a bell that I kept on the door and eventually she would walk over and ring it with her nose when she had to go out. I also take her out as soon as she eats and within 20 or so minutes after a big drink. While training, be sure to reward Teddy with a treat as soon as he goes outside. Even when he goes to the bathroom inside (which will happen) be sure to take him outside as soon as you see it so he will begin making those associations.
I have Caesar Milan's (the dog whisperer) book "Caesar's Way" and I can't recommend it enough for new puppy parents. I know the way you are (obsessive… in a good way) because I'm the same and he really does answer just about every question you could have in his book.
Good luck and enjoy these days. Take LOTS of pictures because in no time he will be all grown up and you'll miss the puppy days!

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kathryn

Biggest tips I can give: routine/consistency. Not just schedule, though it's good to have a fairly regular M-F, but also the words and commands you use. I adopted my little guy so he wasn't a puppy when I got him, but I feel like sometimes my dog speaks our language. but really I've just spoken to him in a pretty normal voice (not overly babied at ALL), and use the same words for things – like Potty, Bad/No,etc. He even knows when I say "come cuddle" he comes over and lays his head down on me. It's little consistencies like that, that make it a lot easier – especially if you can share those words/tones/inflections with friends so they can dog-sit appropriately πŸ˜‰

Poodles are VERY smart/clever little dogs, and eager to fill their brains with things like that πŸ™‚ TAKE ADVANTAGE! Start from the get-go. Good luck, he's PRECIOUS. I can't wait to see his little monogrammed sweaters, and how cute he looks propped in a Longchamp.

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enchantette

Teddy is so adorable! I actually have been thinking about getting a toy poodle myself! I've been debating between a toy poodle and a pug for awhile now. How did you get Teddy? Was it through a breeder, or perhaps a friend?

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Kate

He is absolutely the cutest little thing!!! What a doll puppy! All of your pictures are making me want to get a puppy soooo badly!

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Julia B

I got my puppy when I was a first year lawyer at a big firm (french bulldog)… poor timing, but it has actually worked out quite well – she is crate trained and has a walker she loves.

I also felt similarly in the beginning, that I had to get it right. These are the things I did that worked (my dog is now 4 1/2): 1. definitely crate train. later on you can let the puppy sleep in the bed with you etc. but in the beginning, crate at night and when you leave the house. they come to regard the crate as their little "home" which means they won't go to the bathroom in it and will often wander in there even when you are home. 2. NYLABONES, the one made of the plastic-ish material not the digestable ones. it will save many a pair of shoes. 3. find a good vet – I can't recommend the people at West Chelsea Veterinary highly enough, they are amazing 4. check out pet health insurance – my breed is too expensive to insure bc they have a lot of issues, but if it's reasonable, DO IT 5. never send your dog to doggie daycare. It's a sickness/injury waiting to happen, but DO socialize your dog early by bringing him to dog parks – many have small dog runs so that your pup won't be knocked around by the big dogs.

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Kelsey

When I was reading, I was not mentally prepared for the cuteness that just exploded onto my screen. You should've had a warning! πŸ˜›

The only tip I have is basic psychology (as I am a psychology major). Reinforcing good behaviors is more effective than punishment. I don't take you as someone who would punish Teddy, but I figured I'd just give some food for thought. A lot of people think punishment is the way to go, but it really does not work as well as reinforcement. πŸ™‚

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Kate

I got a black lab Rumba about a year ago. She's being trained to be a seeing eye dog for the blind, so I completely understand the nervousness you have. When I got her I was terrified I would do something that would prevent her from passing. But the thing that I found really helpful when training was to be very proactive and always set her up for success! Teddy is adorable. You're going to do a great job with him!

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Preppy Pink Crocodile

He's so sweet, Carly! I was your age when I got my Sadie. She is hands down the best part of my world. Dogs love. Period. They are just cute bundles of love. You are going to have the best time being a dog momma to your fur baby. They are so much work though. Ha. I'm laughing at how much work they are that first year or five. But so worth it.

Enjoy!
KK @ http://www.preppypinkcrocodile.com

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Eileen

Love that puppy! I have Great Danes and Alaskan Malamutes. Read up on your breed. Most breeds have little quirks. Toy poodles tend to be very timid and get scared of loud noises, etc. so get Teddy out there seeing people and other dogs. Poodles are very smart and you should have no problems with training as long as you are consistent. I have my Great Dane trained to stop at street corners when I say stop and go when it's safe to cross. In the city, that might be a good thing to work on πŸ™‚

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Catherine

I cannot get over how precious he is!! It makes me want a little puppy for my apartment! I have a Golden Retriever at home and just wish he'd fit in my tiny home in the city, but I think I'd be better off getting him a smaller friend!
My blog has a wonderful sponsor, Our Good Dog Spot, which has the cutest dog accessories, you should get some stuff for Teddy!! http://www.livebowfully.com/2013/11/new-sponsor-our-good-dog-spot.html

XO

http://www.livebowfully.com

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T

How did you come to pick a toy poodle? I have REALLY been wanting a puppy lately but am not sure what kind due to the restriction of an apartment!

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carly

I wanted a small dog that would be easy to travel with and would "fit" in my apartment. But a lot of small dogs that I was looking at (pugs, frenchies, etc.) had health problems. I'm also sensitive and it can be hit or miss for me on whether I'm allergic to an animal and poodles are hypoallergenic (and don't shed)!

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Morgan Butts

He's too precious! My boyfriend got me our American Eskimo puppy, Lyla June, nearly three years ago (how time flies!) after a pretty rough semester for me, and I will say there is NOTHING better than coming home to a happy puppy after a really long & horrible day.

My only advice to you would be CHERISH THE PUPPY STAGE! They grow up so fast, and they have the cutest little personalities! Lyla's the BEST thing R could have ever gotten me, and I love her more than I could have ever thought!

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SHF

Teddy is SO cute. I love seeing him on Instagram and on Twitter!
Advice-wise, I definitely agree that you should cherish the puppy stage. They'll never be this small again and it's so much fun. Otherwise, watch out for the teething stage and make sure he knows the difference between his toys and the rest of your stuff! Sometimes they think that everything is theirs. I also definitely agree that you should let him be social and learn how to interact with other dogs in a way that you're both comfortable with. Going for walks and letting him check out other dogs is a great way to do that!
Can't wait to see more Teddy on your blog!

SHF
thechroniclesofs.blogspot.com

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michelle

teddy is so cute! i adore his name! you need to get him potty trained asap so that you're not trying to teach him once it snows (also, puppy pads make dogs think that they can pee in the house so try to avoid them if you can). make sure to lock up anything you don't want chewed, because it sucks when they eat your favorite pair of shoes or your chargers. also, leave him at home every once in a while, for longer periods each time so he gets used to you being away. make sure to use positive reinforcement when he does something good and just say no in a firm voice (don't yell, even if you really want to) when he does something bad. he will learn what you want and don't want him to do faster. make sure to socialize him with a bunch of different people and dogs. also find a vet and animal ER close to you, you never know when you need it and won't want to go across town when something bad happens.

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Liz {prettysweetlife.com}

Consistency and keeping your cool is key. Pups will pick up on your nervousness and mirror the feeling. So, staying calm is important.

When I potty trained Lola (my yorkie) I used the moments she cried at night to continue teaching her. If she woke up during the night crying I took her out of her crate and put her on the potty pad – it taught her that when she did that it meant she was waking me up b/c she had to go potty. But, if you can take him outside to go potty as frequently as you can, better to teach them to go outside. It's amazing what dogs can learn with consistency. When I tell Lola it's night night time she knows it's time to go outside and go potty one last time and when she comes in she runs to her bed and jumps in and waits to be tucked in. Might sound silly, but it's the cutest thing ever. To keep the waking up to a minimum when she was a puppy I did my best to keep her comfy with lots of little plush blankets and a tshirt that smelled like me. I would occasionally have to hang my arm out of bed and put my fingers in the crate – she would settle just knowing I was there.

I'm sure you're being a great fur babe mom though, so let your worries go!

xo Liz
http://www.prettysweetlife.com/

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clara

OH MY GOD HE'S SO CUTE I'M DYING. Also, he'll learn potty training fast. Poodles are scary-smart (you know, for a dog).

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Kelsy Buehler

First of all he is ADORABLE!! I have two labs so they are a liiiitttle bigger than Mr. Teddy but my best advice is to train him EARLY. The sooner you begin with the basics, the better. Also make sure you play with his ears, feet and teeth so he doesn't get annoyed/angry when getting his nails clipped, go to the vet, etc. Lastly, try to not let him be too territorial about his toys, your apartment, etc. Make sure he knows you are the boss and if you want to take away his toy while he is in mid-chew, you can! and then give it right back if he's good πŸ™‚ Hope this helps!

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caitlin shelinbarger

He is adorable! With puppies consistency and a schedule is key. The key to knowing how often you need to take him out to go potty is one hour for every month of age, if he is 6 weeks then you should take him out every 1 hr-1.5hrs. Getting a small crate is a good idea as well. He should have a crate big enough he can turn around in and thats it, that way he wont create a sleeping area in the front and a potty area in the back, but crate training is great because it gives your puppy a place where they associate as theirs and a place they can go and feel "safe". It does take about 2 weeks for them to get used to it and them to have their smell on it but it is well worth it because it keeps your little one from destroying things when you are gone because of their boredom. Putting a little chew toy or other toys in the crate is helpful because it gives them something to play with while they are not sleeping. If you plan on training your puppy try training with praise over treats. this teaches the dog from an early age that its their job to make you happy and that should be what gets them excited and happy resort to treats only when absolutely necessary. you dont want your puppy only responding to your commands because he expects a treat and when he doesnt get one not listen to you. If you plan on training to puppy pads they will have trouble getting the idea at first so dont punish him for having an accident because they associate that punishment or scolding with going potty is bad, thats is. instead pick him up mid stream and put him on the pad and then praise him for being on the puppy pad. that will let him know "oh i need to go here to get praise!" rather than associating going potty as bad. i hope some of these tips help you!!!! enjoy your little fur ball! they are the best little addition to your life! i wouldnt be surviving grad school without coming home to my little puppy:)

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Emily Margaret

Its so funny you posted this today since I just picked up my new Yorkie puppy! I'm so nervous of this huge responsibility but so excited! Scary knowing how much he depends on me and balancing this with college should be interesting!

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Sarah Ciarciello

Where did you get Teddy? I really love how small and adorable he is. I travel from Pennsylvania to Florida a lot and I would love for a little furry friend like him to join along:)

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Jane

One of my dogs is a Yorkiepoo and he has so much of the Poodle personality. They are such fun dogs and so cute! And so smart. Teddy is adorable! Congrats on your first furry baby!

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Lindsey Shelton

I rescued a small dog recently (long-haired Chihuahua mix) and she is like my child. I take her everywhere with me. My only advice is to just love Teddy to pieces…that's all they really need. πŸ™‚ Good luck with your new puppy! He sure is a cutie!

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Cristina Marie

He is absolutely adorable!! I can't wait until its the right time for me to have my first pet. Both my cat and dog passed away when I was in college and my parents haven't gotten another pet yet. Good luck!

Cristina Marie

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cait - pretty and fun

My biggest piece of advice is to be firm when they're puppies – the things that you let them get away with as puppies are likely to stick with them throughout their entire lives. It may be cute or not a big deal if they bark, chew, pull on a leash, etc. when they're still little but it'll be a problem as they get older.

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Elayne Taylor

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Anyway, I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.
Kind Regards,

Elayne Taylor
hop over to here

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Amanda

My hubby and I just adopted a 4 month old lab so I wanted to re-read your puppy posts. I can’t seem to find any posts about specific potty training techniques…any advice??

Thank you!

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