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Puppies or Toddlers?

“Don’t put that in your mouth.” “That’s not appropriate in front of guests.” “The living room is not a bathroom.”

These are all statements uttered throughout the centuries by parents; puppy parents that is. Yes, a fuzzy puppy can be a wonderful addition to any family but, just like it’s doppelganger of mischief, the toddler, puppies can also be a high-maintenance commitment.

Like toddlers, puppies have an attention span almost as minuscule as the fleas they attract. They are in need of almost continuous entertainment. They go through separation anxiety every time you leave them. Teething or not, they will put anything and everything that they can get their little paws on straight into their mouth, if allowed to.

Puppies, like toddlers, are also a bit on the clumsy side. It takes time for them to get the hang of their bodies, too. So they stumble and fall a lot, which means that walk around the block is a little longer with an itty-bitty dog alongside. Also, much like the toddling tyke they are often compared to, puppy dogs will play hard and then nap hard. It is not uncommon for a tuckered out canine to snooze for hours and awaken with more energy than ever.

Raising a pup is so much like raising a child in the throes of their “terrible twos” that some pup parents have even taken to using time-honored toddler disciplines in dealing with their little doggies. Sitting in “time out”, either in the yard, dog house or corner of a room, has become a commonplace behavioral therapy used by trainers and parents of precocious puppies.

The best thing puppies and toddlers have in common is that, no matter the amount of stress, the lost hours of sleep or the monumental moments of frustration that come with the little darlings, the rewards are always greater.