BW 021: Do Widows and Puppies Go Well Together? - with Michele Lennon

industry interview Feb 14, 2023
 

Watch the video here or on YouTube; listen anywhere podcasts are played (Apple, Spotify, Google…)

The Transcript is below.

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Have you thought recently:

-Should I get a new puppy?

-I have a new puppy, and I'm so frustrated!

-I've tried training my dog, but it's not working

 

Puppies are amazing and they bring all kinds of joy and sometimes frustration into our world. But the reality of it is that many times when someone loses a significant other or any loved one, they may get a dog or people may gift them one. And while I don't recommend that you gift anyone the responsibility of a dog, I do think that it's important that if you have a new companion, a new dog, or a new puppy in the house, that you have a really good relationship and are fully trained in order to train and have the best relationship possible with your dog. So let me introduce you to Michele.

 

Michele Lennon has been in the pet care industry for over 20 years. She started her career in a veterinarian's office as an assistant while learning the ropes of the animal care industry. She started a pet sitting dog daycare business. She was bitten, (not by a dog), by the entrepreneurial bug, and has gone on to own four additional pet businesses since those beginning days at the vets. Michele now offers online education for new puppy owners and their canine companions across the globe.

 

We talk about:

~ Ways we could be misunderstanding our dog

~ When is it the best time to get a puppy

~ What kind of expectations you should have as a new puppy owner

~ Misinterpreting your dogs body language

 

Quotes:

~ "...even beyond that first year is sometimes going to feel like a roller coaster. That's what we call it, where things are gonna go well, then it's gonna drop off and things are gonna pick back up again. And this kind of goes along with the growth and development of a puppy..."

~ "Air on the side of caution for sure. And expectations are such a huge part of what we cover in the training process because many new puppy owners have really high expectations that are out of range for the age appropriate activities for the puppy."

 

You can find Michele at: howtotrainadreamdog.com

She also has a free gift for you. She has a new puppy starter kit, which is for getting started videos and a resource packet for owners trying to navigate potty training and new puppy ownership.

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The Brave Widow Community is a place where you can connect with other widows, find hope and healing, and begin to dream again for the future.  Learn more at bravewidow.com.  

 

Hey guys, I’m Emily Jones

I was widowed at age 37, one month shy of our 20 year wedding anniversary.  Nathan and I have four beautiful children together.  My world was turned completely upside down when I lost him.  With faith, community, and wisdom from others, I’ve been able to find hope, joy, and dream again for the future.  I want to help others do the same, too!

 

FOLLOW me on SOCIAL:

Twitter @brave_widow

Instagram @brave_widow

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bravewidow

YouTube@bravewidow

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Transcription:

Emily Jones: Hey, welcome back to episode number 21 of The Brave Widow Show. Today I have a special treat for you. Today we're gonna talk with Michele Lennon from How to Train a Dream Dog. Now, At first glance, you might think, Hmm, why are we talking about training dogs and puppies? First of all, who doesn't love talking about puppies?

Puppies are amazing and they bring all kinds of joy and sometimes frustration into our world. But the reality of it is that many times when someone loses a significant other or any loved one, they may go out and get a dog or a cat or another pet, or people may gift them a new pet. And while I don't recommend that you gift anyone, The responsibility of a a dog for sure.

I do think that it's important that if you have a new companion, a new dog, or a new puppy [00:01:00] in the house, that you have a really good relationship and that you're fully trained in order to train and have the best relationship possible with your dog. So let me introduce you to Michele. Michele Lennon has been in the pet care industry for over 20 years.

She started her career in a veterinarian's office as an assistant while learning the ropes of the animal care industry. She started a pet sitting dog daycare business. She was bitten, not by a dog, by the entrepreneurial bug, and has gone on to own four additional pet businesses since those beginning days at the vets. Michele now offers online education for new puppy owners and their canine companions across the globe. You can find her at howtotrainadreamdog.com she also has a free gift for you. She has a new puppy starter kit, which is for getting started videos and a resource packet [00:02:00] for owners trying to navigate potty training and new puppy ownership.

I really enjoyed my conversation with Michele and I know that you will too. So please stay tuned and go check her out.

All right guys. Welcome back to another episode of The Brave Widow Show. Today I have with me Michelle, who's going to talk to us about a very fun topic, but I'm not gonna steal her thunder. So, Michelle , why don't you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do and what we're gonna talk about today.

Michele Lennon: Absolutely. We are gonna talk about puppies. Woo . That's my jam. I've actually been a trainer for over 20 years and I specialize in people who wanna raise puppies to be well-mannered companions for their home. So I'm passionate about helping people build a positive relationship with their puppy, especially when they, they're [00:03:00] not a hundred percent sure if the puppy was the right choice.

And I kind of, I, I have a way to explain what's going on, and I feel like I'm. I'm an interpreter sometimes the puppy language that a, a new puppy owner might not understand that might be lending to some frustration that they're feeling. So I try to help navigate new puppy owners in that way.

Emily Jones: Oh, that's awesome. And for you guys that are watching this, this is a really timely topic. I was telling Michele as we got connected of I am actually considering getting another pet and one of my friends she's a young widow as well. Her parents surprised her with a pet, which I wouldn't necessarily recommend, but it is fairly common in the widow and grief community for people to adopt or purchase a pet and kind of have that as their companion and someone that they spend a lot of time with after the loss of someone that they love. And overall it can be very therapeutic and a great benefit to them. So, [00:04:00] initially you may not think puppies and widows go together, but what brings more joy than a puppy? I don't know.

Michele Lennon: I, I agree. Totally agree. Who wants to, who, who, who wants to snuggle with a, a little furry potato? Everybody. Especially that the, the sweet little innocent looks that they have. The tilt of the head happy wagging tail when you come home. Who doesn't? Who doesn't want puppy ?

Emily Jones: Exactly. All right, so let's think about people that are in my stage, which is, I've had a dog, I've had dogs before over the years. I'm thinking about getting another dog, but I'm trying to weigh the pros and cons cuz I know having a puppy is kind of like having a toddler. You forget how much work they are. until then, now all of a sudden you have to deal with it.

You also maybe don't know what kind of breed. Maybe you have an idea what kind of breed, but you're not really sure and you're just trying to figure out like, do I really have the time, commitment and [00:05:00] energy? I'll just be honest, with, all the bathroom breaks and all of the, the things that pop up.

So what advice or what things would you give to people to say, here are things that you really need to consider to build your confidence in knowing if this is the right time or even what breed may be right for you?

Michele Lennon: Absolutely. Those are all really good questions. So I think the very first thing to consider is the time, the time commitment, because like you said it there, there's a lot involved and I think that when people consider getting a puppy, They do imagine this sweet, innocent little bundle to snuggle with and play a few games with, and they don't, maybe they don't know a hundred percent of all of the needs this puppy has, and puppies are needy.

They need a lot of attention, especially in the first, I'd say six months. Really. I mean, even beyond that first year is sometimes gonna feel like a roller coaster. That's what [00:06:00] we call it, where. Things are gonna go well, then it's gonna drop off and things are gonna pick back up again. And this kind of goes along with the, the growth and development of a puppy.

It happens at a very rapid rate, so you do have to take into consideration. , what you're teaching them, what, what kind of rules of the home that you wanna have. Is this puppy gonna be allowed on the furniture? Are they not? Are you gonna eventually have them in bed? Those are, I'm always a trainer that says, you can, you can do those things.

You can have those things, but we wanna establish some. Some kind of some ground rules or some good routines right out of the gate. So I think that sometimes those things may get overlooked when you get caught up kind of in the excitement of the puppy, getting a puppy, bringing a puppy home, wanting to play with the puppy, and to your point.

A puppy is going to need to go out to go to the bathroom very, very frequently. I think that many new puppy owners are very surprised at just how frequent. So general rule of thumb is a puppy can hold their flatter for about [00:07:00] one hour per month of age. Well, in some sort of confinement, like a crate.

Sometimes a puppy pen, but the more room they have to roam around in the more frequently they're gonna have to go to the bathroom. So that is something to consider, and especially for those that work from home, it sometimes sounds like, oh, this is the ideal setup. I work from home. I could raise a puppy and, and it can be done, totally can be done.

But you do have to make sure all the puppies needs are met before you say, hop on a podcast or a Zoom call. So those are things to consider. And then as far as breed goes, I would say don't go into it with the mindset of which one is the cutest. Find one that matches your lifestyle. So if you are not a super active person, but you get a very active breed, you're not gonna change. That breed's natural instincts. If you get a border Colly, border Collies are very high energy. They need a [00:08:00] job. And yes, they're very, very smart. So if you're not meeting all those needs, you're gonna find yourself with a lot of destruction in your home and you're gonna get very frustrated with that.

So I would say first look at what kind of time commitment do you have? What's your lifestyle like? And let's see if we can find the right match for you. And, and two, another thing to consider is not just how active or, I don't wanna say , I don't wanna say lazy cuz that's not it. But maybe you're just not a very active person. she raises her hand. But if you have kids in the home, so I think that that's something, especially young kids under 10. I think that often people get puppies, to help kids learn responsibility also as a companion, but not recognizing puppies. Boy, a lot, they are little land sharks. That's why we call 'em little land sharks.

They're those little razor sharp teeth are, are gonna be on everything. [00:09:00] And kids move fast, they move sporadically, they run through houses. They're squeaky, they're happy, they have higher tones. And these are all things that our, our puppies are drawn to. So it's kind of this balance of training the little ones, and then also training our puppies and making sure our expectations are in check as well.

So, if you're expecting your puppy to not bite that's, that's unrealistic for sure. And. There are many reasons why the puppy's biting besides just teething. So we have a whole, we have a whole lesson on that in in our, our program. But to be honest, yeah, lifestyle. Check the check, just write it down.

I always say, put your thoughts on paper and see if if everybody's on the same page and if they align with with the, the breed that you're gonna.

Emily Jones: Yeah, that's awesome feedback. Because I wouldn't say I'm always a couch potato, but I think about, I don't wanna also be [00:10:00] outdoors two hours a day, morning and night and throwing Frisbees and running around doing this and that.

And I know, especially for our widow community, Sometimes have real high expectations for ourselves. So we may say things like, oh, I want a Labrador because I need to walk more and this is gonna make me like, have to go out and take a 20 to 30 minute walk a couple times a day. And then we'll have days where it's very just overwhelming just to get through the day.

And then you don't wanna be resentful of, I'm just trying to get through my day and now I also have all this other responsibility. Maybe air on the conservative side with the activity arena.

Michele Lennon: Yeah, I, I definitely love the air on the side of, of caution for sure. And, and expectations are such a huge part of what we cover in the training process because many new puppy owners have really high expectations or expectations that [00:11:00] are out of range for the age appropriate activities for the puppy. So you mentioned going for a walk, and so a lot of people are like, well, I'm gonna take my 10 week old puppy and we're gonna go for a mile walk. And most puppies can't handle that, nor. The distance, the the strain on the bones and growth plates, which are still developing, but then also the environment.

So oftentimes the puppies get overwhelmed with all the newness of the environment, the sights, the sounds, the smells. And so then puppy owners get frustrated that the puppies not moving along. And many times we call it panicking. The puppy just kind of lays down and there like I don't know what to do next.

I'm so overwhelmed I can't even move another inch. And so having to kind of go through these conversations of, the expectations, what your puppy is capable of based on their developmental age.

Emily Jones: Oh, that is such a great point. And I was laughing just [00:12:00] because I have seen that and just visually, I hope everybody's watching this on video.

Your facial expression was so spot on with like how these little puppies are just like, I, I just, I can't anymore with life. But that's such a great point because so many people right away they wanna take 'em to the dog park and to the pet store and out on the town and just. Socialize them, which probably isn't a bad thing, but at the same time, I'm sure is very overwhelming and maybe depending on their vaccination schedule, not a great idea.

So what thoughts do you have there on maybe properly socializing a puppy while keeping it more contained or where it's not so overwhelming to them.

Michele Lennon: Yeah. This, this, this is one of my favorite questions. We wanna make sure that our puppy is getting the proper exposure and socialization during, especially what we call the imprint period.

That's up to about 16 [00:13:00] weeks of age where they're forming opinions about the world around them that are gonna have lasting impressions for the rest of their life. So we do wanna get them out and about, but we wanna do it safe. We are definitely not in agreement with the keep your Puppy home until they've had all three rounds of vaccinations and don't ever take them outside.

That actually can be very detrimental to their, their health and wellbeing. And while. We understand some locations there are, disease and illness and sickness that we definitely don't wanna expose our puppy too. But we can do things like go for car rides, sit in parking lots, maybe away from people, but so the puppy can see somebody passing by and hear a shopping cart in a parking lot, or hear a bus or a plane or a train or something like that where they can.

They can still hear or see those things at a safe distance, but still be part of the exposure process. And we can definitely create [00:14:00] positive associations by bringing our little kibble or treats along and, dishing them out as the puppy hears or sees something. So I think people often when they think of socialization, they think that their puppy needs to play with other puppies.

Yes, that would be good. But there's a couple of things to consider there. One, when we, whenever we teach our students to set up play dates with another, another puppy for socialization purposes, we wanna make sure that that other dog is the right age, right temperament, maybe even the right size, so that your puppy doesn't get startled or spooked.

And scared or hurt by this maybe rambunctious dog that isn't the right match for them. Because again, like we said, if that happens during that critical imprint period, we might have a dog that is now afraid of other dogs forever and we don't want that to happen. And then I, I think too something else to consider is when when we talk about [00:15:00] socialization and we talk about e xposure and things like that, that also includes maybe you working on things at home before you ever take them out. So maybe it's, we do this exercise with our students for fireworks because fireworks can be really scary, or even thunder can be really scary for dogs. So at home, We put on the YouTube video where we can play those sounds and we can control the volume and we can control the the duration of time.

And then while it's playing at a really low level to start, we're again, we're dishing out or doling out some really good kibble or treats to make that positive association. So there's some things that can be done at home as well that will be very, very beneficial going down the road for your puppies.

Emily Jones: Oh, that's such a great idea. Like I haven't even thought of just taking the dog and sitting in a parking lot or going to a park, but, staying at a distance. So, those are really great points. What are some of the common mistakes? Cuz I'm gonna [00:16:00] guess. Most people will probably come to you when they have a problem, , and they're like, I YouTubed it. I don't know. I'm fed up. Is that true?

Michele Lennon: Yes. Oh my goodness.

Emily Jones: So what are like the common things that you see over and over where you know, a lot of times I think with dog training, half of it's training the people as much as it is probably training the dog, but maybe some misconceptions or things that people do with good intentions that's actually reinforcing bad habits or, or unwanted behavior we'll say.

Michele Lennon: Alright. Emily, how much time do we have? No, I'm just kidding. We could have a whole, we could, we could go on for hours on that. No. So. I would say a couple of things that that happen first, many new dog owners misinterpret their dog's body language, so they often say things like, my dog is so stubborn, they refuse to do X, Y, and Z, and believe it or not, Dogs aren't, aren't stubborn.

It's usually a lack of, of reinforcement, a misunderstanding of [00:17:00] what they're supposed to do, can't process the information. We have a whole list of, of things that are actually going on. So I would say misunderstanding their dog and what their needs are or what they can, what, what they can handle. We, we often put human emotion on dogs, we, the fancy term for that is anthropomorphism. So we treat dogs like humans or, or try to interpret their, their behaviors like we would another human. So, Sometimes a good, Ooh, I know. A good example is the, you know what you did, you naughty dog, bad dog. And so what's the dog do? He puts his head down, he turns away.

And in human terms, that looks like shame. But for a dog that's actually what we call an appeasement behavior, they're, they don't have shame, but they do have, whoa. You have really strong body language right now. Your vocals are really loud and scary. I'm gonna try to diffuse this situation by not challenging you.

So I'm gonna put my head down. I'm gonna turn [00:18:00] away, and I'm gonna let you know, I, I don't, I, I don't mean any harm. I don't know why you're saying what you're saying, but yeah, let, let's see if we can diffuse this. So there's a little bit of that going on. There's also, I would say, The puppy blue. So let's talk about that for a quick second.

Where puppy owners just get overwhelmed because they just, they don't even, they, they're, they're overwhelmed because they don't know what to do next. They might have felt like they tried a whole bunch of different things to solve some problems. And it could be a variety of things, like they're trying too many things at once, or they keep putting their puppy in situations that they're not ready for.

So you see this a lot when they're working on skills. Like, let's just take, sit and stay, for example. And, and you're working on it, and then you're like, I don't know why the dog is getting up. They're so stubborn, they don't wanna do this. And it's really maybe environmental factors that are distracting the dog.

Or the dog has been asked to stay for a little too long [00:19:00] because they're just, they're not able to. They're wiggly puppies. They can't hang on for, for more than a couple seconds at a time. So it's expectations, it's it's environmental factors. It's a lot of, it's a lot of little things. They all, they all kinda puzzle piece together.

So I think that that's something too that we help our new puppy owners understand that when they're working through solving behaviors, if you're, if you're seeing an unwanted behavior, , is this a natural thing that the dog normally does or has a need to do, like digging or shredding? These are, these are things puppy owners wanna try to stop, but they're actually very natural behaviors that the dog needs to do to, to fulfill a, a need.

And so we wanna redirect them into appropriate things to, to shred or dig on instead of your couch cushions or your rug. So, let's give them a head of lettuce to shred in the backyard. Or if, if they don't consume things, maybe it's a paper bag or [00:20:00] something that they could shred up and, and giving them, yeah, just giving them the right outlets to to fulfill those needs can be really important as well. Instead of just going, I don't want this to happen anymore.

Emily Jones: Mm. Yeah. That's great. And I think it's a great point where, people try to correct behavior well after it's already happened. And so it looks like you're saying, like you said, oh, you know what you've done, or, you shouldn't have done that.

And so they start correlating it like they're talking to a small child, but the dogs really just feeding off of their behavior in the moment. And I think one of the great things about what you offer is the ability to go to you and say, shell, I just, I don't understand. Why are they doing this?

Why do they wanna dig in my rug? It's very frustrating. And for you to be able to give them that real time feedback of what to do differently instead of spending hours on YouTube trying to figure out, what, how, how to change or fix that. And I love your perspective about,[00:21:00] how you wanna live life with your dog is fine, but, If you want X behavior, you're gonna have to do y to get that behavior and outcomes. So what would you tell maybe people who are thinking about getting a brother and sister at the same time or thinking, it's very romantic thought to get, oh, well I, my dog's like six months old now. My dog needs a dog.

And that dog needs a dog. So, Seems like it wouldn't be maybe a hard additional challenge to me. I've always thought that sounds extremely overwhelming to try to do that at the same time, but what are some things maybe you see with people who want to get two at the same time or one shortly after the other?

Michele Lennon: Okay, so this, this is good. I think that the very first thing we talked about right, was how much time do you have, because you, you, it's not double the work. It's more like triple to quadruple the work when you have [00:22:00] two puppies. We, we definitely, if you get two of the same, like from the same litter, we, we try to discourage that because of them becoming so dependent on each other.

You almost as the human become the third wheel number one. Number two, if anything ever happens where one has to go away for a little, like a, a surgery like spay or neuter surgery and the other one stays home, the one that stays home gets very, very stressed. And to the point that sometimes they make, they make themselves sick.

The other thing is that we were talking about double or triple to quadruple the work. We have to train our puppies separate before we can train them together. So together is considered what, what we consider like a high level distraction. And so if we're teaching new skills, we wouldn't wanna start off with the dial of distractions cranked way up to very distracting.

Otherwise, it's the puppies are just gonna be either wanting to play with each other or very confused about what's happening. Why is that one getting a treat? I wanna [00:23:00] treat what's happening, and so we always say separate training sessions, separate potty breaks, separate time away from each other, and one-on-one time with their human.

And that can be a lot for, for somebody who's, who's trying to, who, who has the family life to run. And then also, two additional, brand new babies, toddlers, infants, whatever, however you wanna look at it. I think if you're considering getting a second dog, one of the most important things is to consider your first dog's behaviors, and if you like what you see there, because if you don't love what you see in the first dog's behaviors, maybe your first one is been a little, hmm.

They like to guard their toys or they like to guard their food, or they're an excessive barker at the door. Your second dog that you bring home is likely gonna pick up on those behaviors. So then you're gonna have two dogs that also do those same things. So I would say love your first [00:24:00] dog's behavior and if you don't work on that before you add a second dog to the family.

Emily Jones: Hmm. Yeah. Great advice. A lot of people like to do it. I have just always felt like, it seemed like utter , utter chaos to me to, to try to do that. But I think those are really great points about working with the dogs individually and thinking about now that you've, you've gotta first do that, which is double, and then also work on them being together which is a whole, just a whole nother level of, of fun and chaos, but,

All right, so what are some of the, like, let's talk about maybe housebreaking. So a lot of people have different opinions on the right way to house break a dog, and maybe what their expectations are. I know a lot of people want to leave their dogs out all night, or they want to be able to leave 'em home out during the day when they're not there.

What are [00:25:00] maybe some general things that you would say around house training a dog.

Michele Lennon: Yeah, absolutely. Well, first and foremost, we, I, like, I have four fundamentals that I teach inside our one of our free resources. It, it's the reward, restrict, clean and routine. We, we kind of have this little jingle that goes along with it because, , we wanna make sure that we're rewarding the dog in the right spot.

We're restricting access to places that maybe the dog's not quite ready for. So we were talking a little bit at the beginning about the more space we give our dog, the more, accidents they may see, because they're gonna need to go more frequently. So management of the space is gonna be important in this keeping them in a puppy pen or a gated off room.

And then, know, making sure we're cleaning up with the right products, but then also, following a good schedule. Those I think are very important. But as far as like the, the actual, how do we teach a puppy to go potty outside, that kind of, that comes down to consistency of taking them out regularly, rewarding them where they go.

One of the most [00:26:00] common things that people ask us are, or they, they're, maybe they're surprised about is you're not supposed to treat or reward the puppy when they come back in the house after going outside. So, If you do that, what you're actually doing is reinforcing many other behaviors. When you walk in the door, was it because the dog looked at you?

Was it because they sat in into the puppy? They have no correlation. Then that going potty outside is now why they're getting the treats. So we always say, make sure you're rewarding in the right spot out there. I definitely discourage any use of any aversion or any scary tactics like the old school way of, okay, your puppy had an accident inside, take 'em over and show them or whack 'em on the nose with a newspaper.

No, please don't do that. That actually breaks down the trust in your puppy. And they think, oh my gosh, I have to go. I should probably sneak off to go. Cause I don't wanna get in trouble for going. While I humanize that, [00:27:00] ultimately if they do see people coming at them or if they've been scolded, foregoing that that really does break down the trust.

You're gonna get a puppy that's not gonna signal to you when they need to go. They're just gonna sneak off and go, and, and we don't want that. So for that reason, don't ever use aversives instead, think about what you do want your puppy to do. Instead, you, you want them to signal to you that they need to go out.

So is that teaching them how to come over to you and, and boo you? Or do we call it bump it? Or is it ringing a set of potty bells that you can audibly hear to, to signal that you need to go, that they need to go out? So I would say , that's part of the process too, teaching your puppy what you do want them to do so that it makes the process a lot easier.

Emily Jones: Hmm. Okay. And let's say somebody does wanna get to the point where their dog can sleep in bed with them or be out of a crate, during the night. I mean, realistically for most dogs, [00:28:00] how old should they be before you can expect that they're gonna be able to hold it for, eight to 10 hours?

Michele Lennon: Yeah. We're, believe it or not, looking at probably over a year to and over a year type of timeframe here. The first most puppies are potty trained by about six months. The first few weeks is really about you establishing the routine of taking them out and rewarding 'em there and helping them.

It's a, well, first it's the brain and the bladder are learning to work in sync together while it's maturing. So that's why sometimes you see people, get frustrated and they're like, oh, my puppy was going potty outside. And then all of a sudden they had this, they're, they're like peeing all over the house now.

And they had this kind of false sense of, well, our puppy's potty trained. And it's, it's not really just because of how rapidly, they're growing and the hormones are changing in their body, and of course, like I said, of course, the, the brain and the bladder are really working hard to sync up. So [00:29:00] if there are accidents during the first, I'd say six months, that's very normal.

Even beyond that, just because of there's some reasons for regression. It could be, after a spayed or neuter surgery, they came home chemical change in the body. They, they might be drinking more from some medication they're receiving for pain afterwards. Even the day that they come home from the hospital.

They were pumped through, filled with IV fluids, so they, they definitely are gonna have have to go out more frequently. Leaving them out at night, though I would say it, it's a, it depends on other factors too, besides just is the puppy potty trained? Because then we kind of head into the category of are they past the chewing phase because we don't want our puppy to get into something that's really dangerous or could cause a bowel obstruction or require surgery to be removed.

My guys I don't know if you, he, he's behind me here. His name is Pickles. He's four, and my standard [00:30:00] Poodle Wesley is three. And my Great Dane Harper is nine. And all three of them still to this day have their, their crates or their safe space where they don't get to roam around the home because they're curious.

And they might get into things in the middle of the night and I wouldn't know it. So for that reason, I wanna keep them safe. Keeping a puppy in bed with you is fine. Once they're past that potty training, once they're past that chewing, once they're, they're trustworthy. And for some dogs, that's a never thing.

And other dogs, it's quite some time. So a year, maybe even two.

Emily Jones: I know a lot of people are going, oh wow. Because in their mind, like you said, those first few months, they should kind of be over that we've got a routine and they want to let their dog out. I know. For me, I never enjoyed waking up and hearing a dog rustling around and having to stress about what they were getting into.

So, yeah, I'm, I'm a believer as well in trying to keep them contained during the night [00:31:00] so, where they are, they're not getting into anything and it's also could be a safe space for them to have kind of that den enclosure type environment. So it's not cruel to keep dogs and crates or anything like that.

Michele Lennon: I agree with that. Safety first.

Emily Jones: So any thoughts around like a particular diet that people should put their puppy on or that they should stay away from? Any, anything that they should look for?

Michele Lennon: I would say this is a little bit of a controversial topic in the dog world. There are a variety of different f oods out there between kibble and wet food and raw, and this is something that is ideally best talked about with a vet. And even better, if you can find , a veterinary nutritionist would be even the best bet because, what I give my Cavalier might not be the right fit for what I would give my Great Dane or a Border Collie, who's more [00:32:00] energetic.

And so I always say too, look at the back of the dog food that you're giving your dog. And if the first few ingredients are something that you can't recognize and you're like, Ooh, I molasses, I don't know about that. We just like with kids, we gotta be careful what we give them. Otherwise they're gonna be bouncing off the wall.

As the saying goes, you are what you eat type of thing. Same thing with our dogs. We wanna, we wanna give them nutritious, healthy foods, because that plays into behavior too. When we talk about enrichment, we talk about. It's part of the training that we, that we teach. You can't have a puppy that has an enriched life if they're eating junk food.

So that includes, poor quality treats or poor quality kibble. And so I would say if, if you can like, do your research on the best, the best that you can afford, because that's the other thing too, we certainly don't want you to, to be [00:33:00] overwhelmed and worried that, oh my gosh, the, the best I can do doesn't seem to be enough.

Talk to your vet about it because really they might have some, some alternatives that they would suggest, such as, okay, if the food isn't of the highest, maybe the other supplements that they could recommend might offset.

Emily Jones: Oh, that's a great point. I haven't thought about like supplements or maybe kind of mixing or, or things like that, so I, that's a really interesting point.

Well, Michelle, would you anything else that you wanna talk about or kind of parting words of wisdom that you would wanna share with, with people who have a puppy or, or they're considering getting one?

Michele Lennon: Yeah, I would say, As we talked about, do the research, but when you bring your puppy home, keep your expectations low and your patience high.

It's gonna be really important for the first several months because that is the time that we [00:34:00] do see the most, what we call puppy blues. This is where our puppy's. Your puppy owners just do become overwhelmed and they're unsure and they're just like, oh, what is happening? And it's often because, like we talked about before, they just, they have these high expectations of they want the puppy to perform all the cues and be potty trained and not get into things.

And, and they're puppies, they're, they're a little, I think . We look at them and they can run and they can jump and they can play and they have sharp teeth. , but that is the physical things you can see mentally, they're very much, up to about six to eight months, they're still in that toddler phase, I'd say.

So think about that in terms of a toddler and what you're, what we would expect of them. And then, yeah, I really, I think that that's the main, the main thing, just keep those expectations low patience high.

Emily Jones: Yeah, that's good. All right, so how can people find you [00:35:00] if they wanna work with you, if they wanna follow you, tell us more about that.

Michele Lennon: Yeah, absolutely. Well, we do have a website and you can find us at how to train a dream dog.com. And if you head to the homepage of our website, you'll actually find one of our free resources. It's the most popular one we have. It's super awesome. It's called the New Puppy Starter Kit, and in it I cover five things you didn't know you needed to know. Four Fundamentals. We go into more detail on the four fundamentals of potty training. There are three ways to, or three steps to train in your puppy, to signal to you when they need to go to the bathroom. And then we have one fun game in there that you can start playing with your puppy to work on, teaching them to tune into you, especially if they're getting ready to go chew on that electrical cord.

And we don't wanna tell them no because no doesn't teach them what they need to do instead, but this game will actually help you at least redirect them away from something they're not [00:36:00] supposed to be doing.

Emily Jones: Oh, awesome. Well everybody go check that out. I know I've learned some things today and I'm sure that you have as well.

So thank you so much for coming on the show and teaching us something new.

Michele Lennon: Emily, thank you so much for this opportunity to to share puppy training tips with your audience.

 

Emily Jones: Hey guys. Thank you so much for listening to the Brave Widow Podcast. I would love to help you take your next step, whether that's healing your heart, binding hope, or achieving your dreams for the future.

Do you need a safe space to connect with other like-minded widows? Do you wish you had how-tos for getting through the next steps in your journey, organizing your life or moving through grief? What about live calls where you get answers to your burning questions? The Brave Widow [00:37:00] Membership Community is just what you need.

Inside you'll find courses to help guide you, a community of other widows to connect with, live coaching and q and a calls, and small group coaching where you can work on what matters most to you. Learn how to heal your heart, find hope, reclaim joy, and dream again for the future. It is possible. Head on over to brave widow.com to learn more.

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