Hi, friends! Unless you follow me on Instagram, you might not know that we welcomed a second dog to our family about a few weeks ago! Meet SALLY! As you probably know, we adore our 4 year old dog, “George”, and we have been dreaming of adding a second to the family for quite some time. My husband and I had a few “serendipity” type moments that led sweet Sally to us, and she has brought us so many smiles! The past year wasn’t an easy one for us, and she has brought us so many smiles already in the few short weeks we’ve had her!
George and Sally are both Irish Setters from the same family. George is actually the full uncle to Sally (George’s sister is her mom). We adore the breed, especially the fact that they’re fabulous with children (our Irish Setters don’t shed, they just need to be brushed and groomed regularly). I could go on and on about the breed (we did a lot of research before we got George), and we just adore these two! The only thing I don’t like is how FAST they grow! She’s almost tripled her size since we brought her home at the end of June! WHAT! Thankfully, I’ve taken lots of pictures!
Blakely ADORES Sally and loves to run around with her outside. We even took Sally for her first swim yesterday and she loved it! George was unsure of Sally for the first couple of days (we are pretty sure George thinks he’s an actual human), but he loves romping outside with her and playing tug with her every evening. We’ve been so pleased with how well they’ve adjusted to each other.
Sally is such a sweet little one, and we have loved having a puppy in the house again! I’ve received a few questions about house-training, puppy must-haves, etc. so I thought I’d compile a list of our favorite tips and items that have helped!
Puppy Training Tips
House-Training is a big problem for new puppy-owners! We’re not pros – by any means – but here is what we did with Sally (and George). It’s hard if you work outside of the home (or even if you work inside the home), but it’s a short-lived phase.
We take her outside every 30 minutes. And tell her to “go bathroom outside”. When she goes, she gets a little treat and we make a big deal, praising her! Yes, she was still having accidents at first, but we say “no, go bathroom outside” and try to ignore a bit (no praise). After about two weeks, we noticed she was running to the same door and it was finally “hitting her” that she’s to go outside for the treat and praise. I’m not a big believer in puppy pads as I never want to encourage her to go inside, but I do realize the necessity for some. She’s only having the occasional accident now so I call that a WIN!
The first few weeks, your schedule will have to be tight as you can’t leave the house for very long. We would leave for quick 1 hour trips out. Now we can leave for about 3 hours, if and only if, we’ve given her a lot of time outside to get her energy out and let her go the bathroom. It gets easier. :)
This is a tough one. George never teethed on our own hands or feet, but Sally bites and nips on everything. Everything. We give her little “time outs” for 5 minutes in her playpen if she gets too rough. We say “no” firmly if she bites at us and have chew toys for her at every turn. We have to just distract her with something else to teach her what she can and can’t chew on. It’s hard but persistence has paid off quite a bit. Check out the link to the Bitter Apple Spray below, we love it!
I’m a big believer in training dogs early using positive reinforcement! I taught Sally to sit on day 3. I do short bursts of training for about 5-7 minutes at a time as a puppy’s attention span is SHORT. We also go to puppy classes weekly (at Dog & Kat if you’re local). We’re working on stay now as that’s such an important one with any dog. We also save special treats for training so she’s very invested in getting the treat (like rotisserie chicken or string cheese)!
Puppy Must-Have Items
Here are a few of our must-haves for puppies!
- This playpen has been a lifesaver. I did not need one with George but now that we have another dog, I have found it helpful for giving them each a break. It’s also great if I need to answer the phone or cook dinner, etc. I can put Sally in the playpen and let her play with toys while I get a few things done. We are crate-training, in a separate crate, but only at night. We will ultimately phase-out the puppy pen, but it’s been a LIFESAVER for this summer.
- Couch Dog Bed! George adores his dog bed and Sally now has her own from Frontgate! I love their dog beds. We are working on teaching her to “go to her bed” if she is rowdy. She also chooses to rest on the bed on her own during the day. It’s important to not use the crate as punishment so having a bed and play-pen give you other options for little “time out” breaks from the puppies.
- Bitter Apple Spray is so helpful to deter Sally from biting things we don’t want her to bite! It doesn’t last forever so we spray it often, but it’s great for chair legs, rug corners, shoelaces, etc.
- This Snuggle Puppy comes with a heart-beat sound that you place inside the stuffed animal to mimic the sound they are used to when they slept with their littermates. It’s so helpful for puppies that have a hard time at night. Sally loves hers, and we are still using it at night.
- Kongs are a great thing to have on hand! We have several so we can freeze one and have another ready. We fill it with the Kong-fillings or just peanut butter. George and Sally both LOVE these!
Thank you for loving our sweet little family! If you want to see more of George and Sally, you can check out @meetgeorgeandsally on Instagram! Sally has already been featured on Southern Living, so it’s safe to say, she’s pretty smitten with her newfound platform, ha!