Lessons in Puppy Ownership: Yeah, They Whine – A Lot

Beth, Olive and I pose for our — I guess — first family Christmas photo.

My dog would rather I wasn’t blogging right now. Each time she hears me tapping at the keyboard, she pokes her head between my legs and starts to whine. It’s all about her, obviously.

And so is this post. Beth and I have owned a goldendoodle puppy now for less than a week, but she’s already come to know us as:

  • The people who pick up her poop with a grocery bag.
  • The people who use soft, high-pitched voices to say, “Good girl, Olive! Good potty!”
  • The people who lay awake, rigidly, desperately trying to maintain sanity as she whines and barks when we put her in her crate at night.
  • The people who give her food and water, but never enough of it.
  • The people who put her on a string and pull her around the block.

Olive is a sweet, slight dog. She doesn’t clumsily run around the house, scratching up our wood floors. Her accidents have been few and far between, usually a matter of us missing signs she needs to go out or a result of her afternoon freak-out session after Beth’s put her in the crate. She’s getting good at tricks like “sit” and “fetch.” Most impressively, she hasn’t pooped indoors — yet.

But nighttime. That’s when things get dicey. We chose to crate train Olive because we knew there would be hours out of the day we wouldn’t be home, and she needed a place she felt was hers. She’s ever-so-slowly taking to domestic life, but not without a fight. A loud one, at that.

As living arrangements go, ours are not ideal for raising a whiny puppy. We’ve been putting her to bed at 10 p.m., knowing she’ll throw a fit before collapsing in exhaustion. The hard part is knowing above us lives a first-year law student and a first-year graduate student who are quickly coming up on finals. We lay in bed, ignoring the whines as we’re supposed to, but both picturing the neighbors above plotting to help Olive escape.

Maybe now wasn’t the best time to get a puppy.

But when would it ever be the “right” time to get a puppy? We’re always going to be employed or we’re always going to have vacations scheduled or money issues or unforeseen life obstacles. Throughout this process, we’ve shot down any doubt by reasoning dumber people have owned happy dogs.

At least I hope that’s the case.

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2 thoughts on “Lessons in Puppy Ownership: Yeah, They Whine – A Lot

  1. The whining at night gets better, it just takes time. You could always try putting a blanket over the crate or moving the crate into your room (and slowly moving it out over time). It might help or it may just be a desperate attempt to get some silence at night.

  2. Hang in there guys!! Andrew, dont you wish I was there with you every day to tell you what to do with your dog?? :) Mike is right..it does get better. I wouldn’t recommend putting the kennel in your room. She’ll maybe think she’s getting closer to being able to sleep in between you guys. We did that and the first week home, I lost the game of “kennel training.” You two will be Olive’s favorite adopted puppy parents she could ever ask for. Cant wait for her to meet Miss Tyra Jo :)

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