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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Puppy teeth & puppy paws

When you look into the eyes of your gorgeous pup it is easy to forget that they come equipped with powerful dangerously sharp teeth.  This is very challenging when you have a toddler in home as they want to interact and pet or "hold" the puppy.  It is puppy nature to nibble and paw as they learn how to be gentle and bite inhibition. Toddlers can not be expected to handle puppy behavior of this kind.  Our family has 3 older children who are quite capable and willing to engage our pup or our toddler in appropriate activities so we are doing much rotation.  We are respecting that up until now Kelsyann was the focus of our attention and that  has shifted a bit and she is now sharing the spotlight with a 4 legged toddler.  We consider every waking moment a learning opportunity for pup and have had many family discussions about what is acceptable and what is not.

For example:
Quentin must be sitting before we enter the xpen or he leaves crate.
Quentin sits for treats or his hand fed dinner.  He is a quick study!
We always have  him crated, or in the xpen or on leash in the house.
All food is either hand fed or given in puzzle.
****Kelsyann is never to be with Quentin unless Mom or Dad are supervising*****

Having a puppy and toddler is exhausting and we are constantly moving and thinking ahead.  When does pup need to go out?  Where will Kelsy be when I take him out?  Due to his playfulness and lack of bite inhibition now we need to keep she and he a safe distance when he is jumpy or playful.  Puppy teeth hurt and while he is learning what is acceptable and what is not...we must keep Kelsyann safe and away from him when he is playful.  We do not want him to practice this undesirable behavior.  Lessons happen every moment.  We also don't want her to become fearful of him.  Proactive Supervision is the key to prevention. Quentin and Kelsyann both need constant supervision and it is double duty for me and my husband.  Even though our older kids are 10, 14 & 15....this is up to myself and my husband to monitor our toddler and any puppy interaction at this stage.

Again, we went into this decision expecting and knowing that it would be time, energy and loads of management!  Puppies are WORK but so worth it when you have the time and patience and entire family onboard.  I never would have done this when my other children were younger.  An adult rescue dog was the perfect option for us at those times.

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