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Hello! My name is Iliana and since I enjoy making my life as difficult as possible I recently adopted a five-month-old puppy named Stella. Now, since I’ve grown up owning dogs I thought I was more than prepared to adopt a puppy but oh how I was mistaken.  Before I get into the advice, I should preface by saying I am nowhere near an expert on puppies and the advice in this article is based purely on the first few weeks with the new puppy. If you are dealing with troubling behavior issues or are not adapting well to a new puppy I highly recommend contacting either the place you adopted from or a professional dog trainer. Now, on to the advice!

Photo by: Iliana Viscarra

  • Learn to adapt to their personality


We all have this preconceived notion of what puppies are like. Little balls of energy that just want to cuddle and play. This is not the case with all puppies. Stella was very reserved when we first brought her home, and, to a certain extent, still is. Your new puppy may not have the personality you are expecting, so it’s important to remain patient and adapt. They will most likely open up eventually, but it takes time. It may be disheartening at first, but wait it out and it will work out.


  • Potty training varies


When I first adopted Stella, I wasn’t totally sure if she was potty trained but the first few days were going good with no accidents so I assumed she was. Never make assumptions. Ever. The following days were a whirl of accidents, cleaning, and stocking up on loads of cleaning supplies. When I did more research, I found that house training can take anywhere from 4-6 months to even a year. The best lesson to learn from mistaken assumption is to be ready to potty train your new puppy and remember that each puppy is different; therefore, it could either be the easiest thing in the world or the longest and most difficult thing to do. Be ready and, again, have patience.

Photo by: Iliana Viscarra

  • It’s not cheap


Going into the adoption, I knew my bank account was going to take a hit; however, I did not expect the extent of it. After all the essentials, it felt like more things she needed would come out of nowhere. From food and water bowls, to food, to chews (she is a heavy chewer) to collars and tags, and then a bed and crate the expenses just kept adding up. Not to mention shampoo, toys, and a baby gate to keep her out of the rooms. Before adopting a dog, I highly recommend taking time to make sure you are fiscally ready for everything that comes with adopting.


  • Be alert all the time


At the end of the day, a puppy is a puppy. They’re going to want to chew everything, use the restroom anywhere, and ultimately bring chaos wherever they go. They need discipline and they need to learn what’s right and what’s wrong. When you adopt, be ready to always be alert and watching them. It’s not forever, but it is important to be committed to watching and training them as long as necessary.


  • It’s totally worth it


Adopting and training a new puppy is not smooth sailing in the least. They’re going to challenge you and push almost every button you have, but in the end, I can honestly say it’s so worth it. When adopting a puppy, you’re adopting a new companion that’s going to be with you for a very long time. It’s cliché to say but it’s true, adopting is a huge commitment and it’s important to take time to make sure you’re ready for it. With patience, understanding, and time it will all work out in the end.


Photo by: Iliana Viscarra

Student at NMSU double majoring in Journalism and Government. 
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