In today’s episode, I get to interview one of my favorite clients. Noelle walks us through her journey of raising Finn, her goofy Vizsla puppy. Noelle talks about her favorite parts of raising a puppy, how she got through the challenges, and what she learned about herself throughout the process.
What was your favorite part about raising a puppy?
When I brought Finn home, he was a bit nervous and hesitant of new sounds and experiences. It has been really cool to see him become more confident as a result of all the socialization and training we worked on.
What was the most challenging part?
I often felt exhausted. Finn wasn’t sleeping through the night, he was getting up early, peeing in the house, and then running around like a maniac. Certain days, it felt like a lot! When you’re in that mindset and sleep deprived, it’s hard to take everything with a grain of salt. There were moments when I was overwhelmed by Finn’s behavior, or I would let someone’s comment about his behavior offend me, or I felt lost in what I was supposed to be doing to support him. Those moments felt so real and hard. And then, I would get a good night sleep, see progress, and be able to celebrate the small wins along the way!
There is a lot to do when raising a puppy. How did you prioritize socialization, teaching Finn life skills, while house training?
I made sure to remind myself that I am doing the best that I can. Everything changes from week to week, day to day, raising a puppy. I found that getting lost in the weeds and worrying too much was not helpful.
Instead, I focused on:
- Planning my socialization outings and making sure I was doing my errands at another time so I could focus solely on Finn.
- I incorporated training a few minutes here and there throughout the day.
- I also took advantage of socialization and training opportunities while I was walking in my neighborhood.
How did the training process support your relationship with Finn?
Well, reading your book and focusing on our relationship as two beings working together instead of me dictating what I need from the dog, really changed my whole understanding of what it means to have a relationship with my dog. I have a better understanding of how a canine moves through the world, and because of that, I have more empathy for him. That empathy helps me address his needs and allows me to co-create a really great experience for the both of us.