Ask The Hairy Dogfathers: Newlywed Puppy Problems

Does your dog like to get into hairy situations? Does he have a bad habit he just won’t give up? Does she not play well with others? That problem isn’t going to go away magically – let the “Hairy Dogfathers” grant your wish for a better behaved dog with expert and practical advice. Dog trainers (and handsome hubbies) Kevin and André are here to answer your trying training questions and offer tried-and-tested techniques. Our Dogfathers may have conflicting opinions when it comes to what training tips to try, but there’s always one thing they agree on – a well-trained dog makes for a happy dog (and household!).

Dear Hairy Dogfathers,

Things had been going really well. My boyfriend became my fiancé, and then my fiancé became my husband. The wedding was a dream! I grew up with dogs, and my husband had always wanted one. So after our honeymoon we adopted a sweet little dog from the shelter. Our new dog is a tiny eight-month-old Chihuahua we named Spencer. My husband and I couldn’t be more pleased with this little bundle of fur – he has given so much love to our family!

But there’s a problem! My husband and I have totally different parenting styles with the new pup. He’s all fun and games, leaving me to be the mean one and to take care of all the clean-up. I didn’t sign up for this – what gives!?


Feeling like the Mean One

Related: Compromising Pet Parenting Styles

André says:

Hey Mean One,

Congratulations on the new addition and the new nuptials. When Kevin and I got married, we went down to the pound and got ourselves a hound as well. What a great way to start a family!

I am happy to hear the hubby has been having a party with the puppy! Is there room to give the guy a little slack? This is his first dog and this may be Spencer’s first loving home. So let them bond through play time, and feel free jump in there too!

You don’t want to be the “Mean One”… so don’t! When it’s time to clean up puppy poops and doggy mess, invite your husband to help out. This is his first dog, so he is still learning what all the responsibilities are. Remember, you got a dog to add love and life to your home, so relax and enjoy yourself!

Related: Puppy Kindergarten

Kevin says:

Dear Mean One,

I am happy to hear about the furry addition to your family, but it sounds like you’re having a little trouble adjusting to your new family life. The first thing I want to say is that raising a pup doesn’t have to slip into the whole “good cop, bad cop” routine – you can both be good ones.

That being said, little Spencer needs to know where the line is and how to behave properly in his new environment. I would recommend that both you and your husband take Spencer to puppy class. This will help teach him some basic obedience and give him an opportunity to socialize with other canines (and humans). It will also help you and your husband with basic training techniques, and help all of you learn which ones work best for your family. Choose a class based on positive training techniques, which focus on rewarding good behaviors and less on corrections. Once you and your husband can agree on the basics, life will be much easier and you won’t ever have to worry about being the mean one again.

Hairy Dogfathers
Hairy Dogfathers

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