Why Having a Puppy is the Same as a Toddlerby Leyla Brooke
Early in 2019, we lost our dog J. It shocked us all as it came completely out of the blue and he was very much a part of the family. In a few weeks time, we will be welcoming not one, but two puppies into our home and I am excited for the chaos. I have been asked a few times if I know what I have let myself in for but actually, I do, I have not only had dogs before but I also had two toddlers at the same time. Yes, it was stressful and hard work, but it was also so rewarding. If you think about it having a puppy is basically the same as having a toddler.
The first thing people ask me is how are you going to be able to toilet train them both at the same time. Puppies, just like potty training toddlers will simply go when they need to go. Some pick up the idea quicker than others and are toilet trained much quicker and some take a little longer. I fully expect to be cleaning up accidents after the puppies in the same way I did with the toddlers. In the same way, you can adopt similar potty training methods, praising the good behaviour and offering a reward such as a treat and completely ignoring the bad behaviour. A dog likes attention and it doesn’t matter if that is good or bad, attention is a reward and a reaction which will reinforce that behaviour.
Toddlers have a knack for finding everything and trying to eat it or at the very least put it in their mouth. In the same way, puppies love to mouth everything. Even the most well-behaved puppy will put something into their mouths that they shouldn’t at some point, be that your shoe or the remote. Some puppies even take a liking to eating poo and they are not too fussed if it is their own, another dog or another animal altogether.
I remember before kids thinking none of them would sleep in my bed, now you do anything to get some sleep which includes letting your toddler sleep in bed with you. Toddlers love the warmth and comfort this gives them and a puppy is no different. You may start out with every intention that the puppy will not end up in your bed, but that cute whining noise and those puppy dog eyes will soon have you carrying them into bed with you.
A toddler will not want to eat their food, even though it can be exactly the same as what is on your plate. They will look at you and start taking items from your plate, because what is on yours is clearly so much better. A puppy will wait eagerly for you to feed it something from your plate too, it doesn’t matter what you are eating, they want to share it!
The best part though is after a long day of playing, which both toddlers and puppies love to do, all they want is a cuddle and there is something so satisfying about letting them cuddle in close to you as they know you will protect them from anything.