Zen and the Art of Dog

Coco the Cuckoo Puppy

Harry (my son), my wife and I just got home from our trip to Dallas. We had a great time. Dallas is a cool city with a lot of fun stuff to do (especially eat).

We visited my wife’s cousin who has a beautiful home in the city. Her cousin also has a brand spanking new puppy: Coco.

Coco and Harry

My cousin-in-law (let’s call her CIL) has really been struggling with Coco. Coco’s issues are pretty common for very young puppies and especially puppies that have been separated from their mother at an early age.

Coco came home with CIL at two months old, so nowhere near enough time to bond with and learn proper socialization from her litter and her mother. The result is that Coco’s behavior is pretty terrible. Luckily, Coco is a small breed (mini-doodle) making life with her manageable. But, even at her tiny size she’s still a handful.

Here’s a breakdown of Coco’s bad behaviors:

  1. Coco bites. Hard. Puppies teethe, so some chewing should be expected. However, Coco’s biting is also of the bratty “you can’t tell me what to do” variety.
  2. Coco has terrible separation anxiety. CIL will leave and Coco will bark and bark all day long.
  3. When CIL is home, Coco barks and shrieks to be let out of her crate.
  4. When Coco is free, Coco runs around like a maniac bouncing from one toy to another.
  5. CIL is also struggling with potty training, which she is okay with and should be expected from a puppy.

My wife and I are not training experts at all, especially not with puppies. Our dogs have always been older (>8 months). We did our best to help CIL and I hope we gave her some good tips. I also consulted this article about training puppies that had some good information. If you’re struggling with a new puppy with similar issues to Coco I think you’ll find some useful information as well.

If you’re struggling with a new puppy I’d love to hear from you! Definitely drop me a line at adam@zenandtheartofdog.com.

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