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A Four-Month Puppy Update With Cricket!

January 20, 2023

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It’s been over one month since we surprised the girls with Cricket, and it’s borderline sad how the time has flown by! As first-time puppy owners, we were given a lot of advice from experienced puppy people, many of who warned us that the puppy stage would be harder than a newborn baby. This could not be further from our experience! Here’s how it’s been going!

Cricket has the sweetest little demeanor. She’s crate trained, which is something they worked on in the Puppy Kindergarten she went to before we brought her home. Neither Charly nor Willow were crate trained, so we weren’t really sure what to expect, but with a puppy, it’s been so helpful! She sleeps in there at night, takes a good long nap in there during the day, and we feel comfortable leaving her for an hour and a half to go out to dinner!

Unfortunately, potty training is a work in progress. We’re devout about taking her out around the clock, and she’s so good at going #1 on demand, but it seems like she has anxiety around #2 because she saves that for inside 🙄. I would say the messes are becoming less frequent, but she’s still getting the hang of it.

One thing she learned in Puppy Kindergarten was to press a little bell by the back door to alert us when she needs to goooo. In hindsight, we wish we would have had the same bell for her to use on her very first day. By the time we bought the bell, I think she had lost that skill, so we’re working on re-teaching her with it now!

Aside from all the cleaning up, we can’t imagine a life without Cricket! The girls are completely obsessed with everything about her, as are Chris and I. Cricket thinks Polly is one of her little puppy playmates, and Polly, in turn, likes to pretend she’s a puppy! Lots of fun and giggles are happening in our house, making our home feel much more joyful.

One thing we did for our last Bernese mountain dog, Willow, was made the switch over to The Farmer’s Dog food. Willow became a healthier, more energetic dog when we made the switch, so we’ve been feeding Cricket their fresh human-grade dog food from day one at home! She absolutely loves it and is eating like a champ, which makes me happy because I can’t wait to see a little more fat on her!

Now, she is a mini, so she won’t grow to be the full size of a Bernese, but she is going to gain about three more inches in height and about 12 more pounds. She’s already about 18 and is right on track!

Another house training that is taking place is teaching her not to jump up on people to say hello. I actually think it’s the cutest thing, and I know she’s just a playful little pup right now, but I hope to teach her so that when visitors come, she’s not jumping up all over them. We’ve also been told to put a leash on and keep her with you while you’re doing things around the house so that she doesn’t think she has free range of the entire house! At least until she’s fully potty-trained and not searching for things to chew on.

In full transparency, we’ve had to roll up a couple of rugs. For example, the front entry rug was one of Cricket’s favorite places to go potty. She also marked her territory on the bonus room runner behind the couch. We’ve been using Folex (the holy grail of carpet cleaners) to clean up accidents and are just watching her and trying to teach her as much as we can. We actually got a bunch of potty training tips from our Loyal Love Letter subscribers that I thought would be fun and helpful to share!

Potty Training Tips From Readers!

There is a great book called “ How To Housebreak Your Dog In 7 Days “ by Shirlee Kalstone it’s the best $9.99 you will ever spend. I swear by this book and have recommended it countless times. I give it to all my new puppy friends and it’s worked for them as well.

Hello! Congrats on the pup, she’s adorable. One thing that helped teach my dog #2 outside was to take the actual accident from inside to outside and then showed her where it goes – outside. For whatever reason that clicked with my pup and she stopped going inside. Worth a shot! ;) Happy new year! 

I cannot recommend this portable steam cleaner enough!  It’s a godsend for cleaning up puppy messes.

For the #2 anxiety (which my brother’s dog has), we found taking him for a short walk was helpful and I always gave my puppies a treat for going #2 outside.

Hi there. We trained our dog with a small bell tied to a long ribbon, tied to the back door handle. Kind of like a bell to push, but not permanent. Every time our dog would go out we’d help her hit it and eventually she did it herself. No need to actually get something permanent but just make sure it’s within reach. 

Hope that helps – it did for us. 

Julia I have trained many puppies.  Go on to Amazon and buy puppy pads and put then by the door.  They are disposable and saves you from any messes.  You roll them up and throw them.  Good luck.  Trust me you will be ok.  

Along with all those helpful messages, I wanted to share some cute doggy items we have and things I’ve got my eyes on!

Cute Puppy Essentials!

1. Tennis Balls $10
2. Pillow Dog Bed $54
3. Double-Bowl Feeder $159
4. Pet Food Storage Canister $69
5. Dog Brush $10
6. Collar Walk Kit $88
7. Plush Rope Bone Toy $6
8. Hand Stamped Pet Tag $25
9. Crate $595

Shop Cute Dog Esstentials

Thanks for following along with our puppy journey!

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What do you think?

  1. Emily says:

    Everyone swears by the Bissell green machine but they make another version – the Bissell Spot Bot and it is better. Still has the handle brush but also has a self-cleaning option. Set it over the stain, press start and in a few minutes it’s all cleaned and done because the machine did it. Worth the extra couple of bucks!

    Also, folex is great but it doesn’t get all the enzymes out, so they keep marking the spots over and over. Our puppy was housebroken with the exception of this one spot under the dining table. My dad (a landlord) told me to get Nature’s Miracle carpet shampoo because it is the best. It is! We used it once and she finally stopped marking that spot.

    My dad obviously replaces carpet after tenants leave but he uses a different Nature’s miracle product on any sub floor stains and he swears by it. I do, too!

    They also have a laundry addictive that we use when we wash dog beds.

  2. Carla Vaughan says:

    I think you are doing a great job with Cricket. I can tell she is very loved!! How do you keep your hardwood floors from getting scratched with her?

  3. Gina says:

    Make sure not to bring her inside immediately after going potty! She will learn that fun/play ends as soon as she goes potty and will take longer to go to prolong the fun.

  4. Kathy Derrigo says:

    Because you used the word “anxiety”….some dogs do like some privacy. Our last dog preferred to go behind bushes. So it may help if you find her a “private” place to go and she knows where to go. Maybe the other reader hint about taking the inside accident to the outside, to the private place, will help?

    • Kate says:

      I second this! Our old dog never had anxiety about #2, but our collie likes to go around the side of our house for a “private” potty spot! She naturally did this; we didn’t train her…even at our vacation home she has a special tree she prefers to go under. Funny, but maybe it will help you!

  5. Kori says:

    You might try Nature’s Miracle spray to neutralize the #1 and #2 odor from your carpet. It scent will always be in the carpet otherwise and they will continue to mark their territory. The only other tip about going #2 outside is take her out 30 minutes after she eats. I usually just walk my fur baby until she goes #2 and then we can go back home.

  6. Suzie Dyer says:

    My doggie dentist said no to tennis balls. She said they are too abrasive for a dogs teeth, better to use the rubber balls.

  7. Tara says:

    Be careful with steam cleaning puppy messes. If it’s fabric or carpet you can set the stain and smell permanently!

  8. Julia Jacobs says:

    We also have a new puppy who is just a couple months older than Cricket. And unfortunately we have another thing in common is that we lost our other dog in the same manner that you did Willow. It’s been 8 months since that happened and I am STILL struggling with it hard. The whole thing happened in seconds and right in front of me and even writing about it is bringing on tears again. If you have any advice other than just time, I’d be happy to hear it.

    That being said – I’m so glad you and Cricket found each other. Our pup was pretty easily house trained (#1 and #2), but only because (other than at night) we have a dog door, so she has full-time access to the backyard during the day. Our other dog also had an issue with #2 in the house, so when I picked up her poo in the house, I brought her with me and threw it outside where I wanted her to go. That seemed to click with her and eventually she got the message.

  9. Shannon Beaty says:

    We just got a new pup this past November. One thing we noticed with Gus is that he doesn’t like to pee and poo in the the same place. I read that pooping makes a pup feel vulnerable so Gus prefers to go in a protected corner behind our garage. Its a little more work to get him there, but he now has his routine and it has worked for us.

  10. Catherine says:

    We had a similar experience with our dog as a puppy, it was a joy – not the horror everyone tells you it will be. Learning the puppies schedule helps too (our’s liked to poop about 20 minutes after eating.) so it was easy to take them outside and play with them after dinner (carry a high value treat in your pocket) and as they was go find a place to go, say “go potty” as they are going, and then have a potty party. Cheer, yell, praise, and give treats for going potty where you want them to. It only takes a couple of times, and they get excited for their party and go readily. We also always kept the puppy leashed to us, or in a playpen if they couldn’t be actively watched, and we didn’t have a single chewing incident, or getting into anything they shouldn’t. Our boy is 4 now, and the best dog we could have ever wished for!

  11. Nicole Mangum says:

    Cricket is soooooo cute!!! I love how fluffy looking her ears are.

  12. Emma says:

    Positive reinforcement is so important when puppies have toilet anxiety. As soon as they have done their thing, give them a treat and praise them. Give them space while they are doing their business: some of them feel vulnerable in that moment so crowding and petting them while they do their thing is counterproductive. Some of them also genuinely need to move around and exercise before they will do their business outside which is why regular little walks and play sessions outdoors help potty train young dogs.
    Cricket is adorable: I hope she figures out that her bathroom does not have a sink but a big blue sky soon!

  13. Brenda says:

    When we brought our little puppy home, we were told that she would want to go #2 about 15 minutes after she ate. This does change as they age. We religiously took her out about ten minutes after she ate and did not go back into the house until she has done her business. It worked like clockwork. We never had one single accident in the house. She learned to like and understand that she went outside. We, like you, have a big property, so we always took her to the same area to do her business and she learned to go there and do her business once we just got to the letting her out of the house stage.

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