Being a dog mom or dad is the greatest feeling in the world. Before we adopted our dogs, we could never imagine the amount of love and joy they would bring into our lives. Though stumbling through puppyhood can be a struggle, nothing beats the first year with your dog. Messes and all!
Here are 10 moments of pure joy puppy parents experience in their first year together.
1. The First Day
The first day with your new puppy is undeniably the greatest day of your life. There is no more pure form of joy than embracing your pup, and telling him how much you love him.
The first day will be filled with tears of joy, smiles, and a bit of stress. Once the reality hits that you are now responsible for a living thing, it can get a bit scary. That’s when you need to take a step back and realize you only have one first day. Enjoy it!
2. The First Command
The first command is more than exciting! Like a baby’s first steps, a dog’s first sit or stay deserves clapping and jumping. There will be many more tricks to come, but the first is always the most important.
We suggest teaching the command “sit” first! This makes it a lot easier to take adorable puppy photos, and to keep track of your little troublemaker.
3. The First On Leash Walk
The first on leash walk, at least the first successful one, is pretty darn cool. This is where you and your puppy learn to work as a team, and walk alongside each other to take over the world.
The first on leash walk is also filled with frustration, as your puppy may choose to sit and drag most of the time. Enjoy the moments you have, and take lots of breaks. This is all new for the both of you!
4. The First Adventure
Whether it’s to the forest, the lake, or even the dog park, the first adventure with your puppy is quite exciting! You finally feel confident enough to take your pup out of the house and into the world. Even if it only lasts a little while, the first adventure with your dog will set the tone of your relationship.
Will he become addicted to romping in the woods, or is he destined to be a couch potato?
5. Introduction To The Grandparents
Introducing your puppy to the grandparents can be a little scary at first. Sometimes you aren’t too sure if they fully approve of your choice to adopt instead of having a human baby. Don’t worry! As soon as they look into your pup’s big brown eyes, and see his droopy lips, they will love him just as much as you do.
The grandparents will be your dog’s favorite people. It may even feel like he loves them more than he loves you. Let them spoil your puppy and show him that people are nice. Grandma’s house will soon be his favorite hangout spot.
Share the love!
6. The First Swim
The first swim will be short, but sweet. Most dogs are terrified of the water at first, but there’s nothing more rewarding than watching your puppy paddle for the first time. It’s so heartwarming!
Even if your dog doesn’t become a famous swimmer or dock diver, swimming is a great way to stay in shape and keep cool in the summer. Your first swim is important, but it’s also important to consistently visit the beach. That gives your puppy the proper chance to figure out if he really likes the water or not.
7. The First Successful Off Leash Walk
Scary but so pawsome!
The first successful off leash walk – the one where your dog comes back – is probably the greatest moment in puppy parenting existence. Off leash walking proves that all your hard work and training has paid off, and you now have a well behaved puppy. Though the first off leash walk may not occur within the first year, depending on the dog and owner, it’s still an amazing feeling.
Every puppy and parent will reach this step at their own pace.
8. The First Road Trip
The first road trip is a lot of fun! Whether you’re just going to the next town over, or embarking on a full on camping adventure, the first road trip marks a huge milestone of your adventurous life with your pup.
Teaching your dog to enjoy car rides and exploration will make him the best travel buddy. Love every minute of this experience and let it set the tone for your future together!
9. The First Snuggle
The first snuggle technically happens within the first few days of parenthood. Most people will cuddle their new puppy immediately, or let them sleep on the bed. However, we’re talking about the first real snuggle, where you look deep into your pup’s eyes and fall madly in love.
Your dog is your baby, and he always will be. The first true snuggle is a touching feeling that nothing can overshadow. Congratulations.
10. The First Birthday
The first birthday is your chance to look back on the last year with your dog. The first year is filled with ups and downs, lots of messes, and many mistakes, but it’s also filled with love, joy, and fulfillment. You and your dog are now a team. You’ve conquered the toughest part of parenting, and it’s time to move into adulthood together.
The first birthday is celebrated, cherished, and shared with loved ones.