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Investment in dog training courses for puppy will pay dividends

Investment in training for puppy will pay off in the long run

Q: My fiance and I have a 9-month-old puppy. He is housebroken but is chewing everything in sight, including electronics, carpeting and work-related documents that would be very embarrassing to replace. "Yes, Client, the dog literally ate my homework."

We have spent lots of money fixing the dog's damage (while also trying to save for a wedding) and rearranging our house to deal with him. Most of this behavior is simply puppy stuff, but I would be lying if I said I walked him a mile every night.

I suppose we could give the dog more exercise, but it's tough, it really is. We both work full time, and frankly, I got amnesia about how hard raising a puppy is. And my fiance was ill-prepared (by me) for the normal puppy frustrations.

Fiance has had it up to "here." He doesn't want to be the bad guy in asking me to give the dog away. I don't want to be the bad guy in asking him to put up with the dog. Any suggestions?

The bad guy?

A: Why is the puppy on the loose enough to chew things?

You may have tried your best, but you haven't tried the obvious. Crate training.

You need a puppy obedience class, badly, and your puppy does, too. And that's not just a har-har; your amnesia extends not just to the difficulty but also the basics of dog-rearing. "Most of this behavior" is boredom, not "puppy stuff." You need to tire him out, physically and mentally, and confine him humanely.

So: Tap local dogsters for names of good puppy trainers/classes and dog-walkers. He won't always be a puppy; think of this as the high-maintenance push to the other side.

Look for used or hand-me-down computer before buying new

Q: My husband lost his job and hasn't found anything yet. We have had to cancel some plans, aren't giving gifts and weren't able to contribute any cash to some group family things we'd previously committed to. We've also gotten some unasked for but much appreciated help from parents in the way of groceries. We do have a small amount of savings we have not yet dipped into, for mortgage payments when my husband's unemployment payments run out.

I feel horribly guilty spending any money. But now our computer broke and my husband needs it for job searching. We feel like our family members are going to raise their eyebrows if we buy a new one. Is it anyone's business if we buy this item?

Anonymous

A: Your guilt is, like anger, a corrosive emotion — if you let it sit there unaddressed. It's useful, though, if you regard it as a flag that says, "Pay attention to this."

So heed the guilt flag and cut the appearance of luxury out of the computer transaction. Your choices aren't limited to library (which will slow down your husband's response time, not good) or retail purchase; you can also ask your family and friends for a computer he can borrow. Many people hang on to old computers when they upgrade.

If no one comes through, then look into refurbished models with neither bells nor whistles — nor apologies, because you and everyone whose opinion matters will know you went out of your way to avoid spending a dime.

Investment in dog training courses for puppy will pay dividends 08/20/11 [Last modified: Saturday, August 20, 2011 5:30am]

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