We recently succumbed to our kids’ pleas for a puppy. We had been thinking about it for a while, ever since our Boxer passed away three years ago. We love dogs and feel they are wonderful for kids. But we just weren’t sure we were up for the commitment yet. Plus, there’s the messy yard, chewed up house and the lack of freedom that comes with a puppy. With three kids who are all starting to get to be a little more self-sufficient my husband and I just weren’t ready yet to give up our freedom again.
But we changed our minds this summer. Two things did it for us: our neighbours got a puppy and their kids had taken on sole responsibility for the pup’s walking, feeding and bathroom habits, and we thought our middle son could really thrive on being responsible for a pet. So, we did our research and decided on a breed that suited our family and then we told the kids. They were thrilled and we began searching for breeders of English bull dogs.
We picked up Coco last Friday and she is perfect. But because our last dog had been a rescue dog, and much older, we hadn’t done the whole "puppy training" thing. That terrified me. I had visions of my house being destroyed and smelling of dog poop. I was determined to get it right, right off the bat. So, I called the experts.
We had a one hour "Puppy Pre-school" session with a dog trainer. I know one hour is hardly enough but I wanted to know how to start housebreaking her the first day. We plan to go to dog training classes when she’s old enough. He was full of information and helpful advice. We’ve been doing what he advised and she seems happy and comfortable in our house. Best of all, the kids have stepped up to the plate and taken on her care (I know, it’s only been a week but a mom can dream!).
One thing that has me a bit stumped is the issue of food. The trainer told us that his dogs eat the B.A.R.F diet, Bones and Raw Food. He says his dogs all have solid poop (which makes it much easier to clean up) and that it doesn’t smell (a real bonus). He also says they look much younger than their years, are really healthy and have the softest coats. It made sense when he explained that dog food is just processed leftovers. As he said, what did dogs, wolves and coyotes eat before dog food? Raw meat. He even told us of an organic place to get it and it comes ground or in chopped up pieces. It sounds good to me. I’d love to hear from readers who have an opinion.