Skip to content

Tips for Raising a Puppy - 30 Tips from Real Pup Parents | Pupford

January 3rd, 2024

Filed under Pet Parenting

Featured Image

Many people wonder if raising a puppy is hard... From the outside, you may see a very cute puppy face and floppy body, cute little sounds that come out of said puppy’s mouth, and a puppy looking to get attention, in one form or another - like snuggles.

As a pup parent, those cute moments may seem few and far between (and may not seem all so sweet when snuggles turn to biting and little sounds turn into loud barks and whines). Raising a dog is a LOT of work, and sometimes while you’re stuck in the middle of especially hard phases it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. That is why having resources in place to guide you through the journey can be so helpful!

If you have joined our 30 Day Perfect Pup Course with Zak George, you are probably familiar with our private Facebook Community for pup parents, to share tips, tricks, training help, and an outlet to help guide one another through the rollercoaster that is pup parenthood.

And if you aren’t familiar with it, this is your invitation to check it out and join a growing community of 50K + pup parents on a similar path as you.

In our community, a member asked the question, “What is One Thing You Wish You Knew Before Getting a Pup.” and the responses came flooding in. So without further ado, check out some of the top responses from what pup parents wish they would have known when they got a puppy.

And I think you'll get a clear answer to whether or not raising a puppy is hard...


1. “Genetics and temperament play a role in training. Puppies are not a blank slate. I should have researched better.” -Kristy O

Learn which breed(s) would be a good fit for you and your family! For example you may want to look at good dogs for first time pup parents or good apartment dogs.

2. “That my whole entire life would change and revolve around the dog. And I mean that in the best way possible. My life got better the moment I held him.” -Ronald S

Dogs really are the best companions 🥰

3. “Take lots of pictures and videos while they're babies because they grow up so fast." -Natalie H

Get that extra iCloud space for your phone. You may just need it.

4. “Socializing isn't just playing with dogs. It's about introducing them to life. Different people, dogs, surfaces, sounds, environments, etc. and not just interacting with it but just being able to see/hear it and be ok with it all. Thankfully I did the sounds and surfaces but the new places and people, I failed.

Another thing is taking them out. I took her to Tractor Supply once when she was in her critical socializing window. She gets anxious now when we go out but we're working on all her issues. Would have been so much easier doing it when I was supposed to rather than now at 2 years old." -Natalie H

Need tips for socializing your dog? Check this out.

5. “The sharp puppy teeth nipping on your legs!” -Sheila K

One question we ALWAYS get asked about is puppy biting. YES it does hurt a lot, and yes it does get better over time!

6. “That I need to enjoy actually having a dog!"

I know this sounds weird, but I went super hardcore in being as knowledgable as possible and getting training schedule in place and maximise her learning. My puppy is a rescue, and a young puppy! So I wanted the best possible outcome!

But with all that hard work, I really do forget to play for the sake of playing and to just enjoy my time with her.” -Gaby W

Sometimes, you need to just let your dog be a dog.

7. “Just make sure your expectations are the same if you are raising the pup with a partner or with family involved. Everyone needs to be on board with the training!!” -Ashlyn S

If you get a dog, make sure your whole family is on the same page when it comes to training your dog. If you put in all the hard work but those behaviors aren’t reinforced with other family members, it can make training more tricky.. and take longer.

8. “You will feel bad when you aren't taking your dog on adventures every day.” -Julianna F.

"Dog owner guilt" (we prefer the term "pup parent" by the way) is real - with both human babies and fur babies. Just do your best!

9. “That you don't ever need a morning alarm to wake up." -N Soumya R

Some dogs may be better at sleeping through the night than others, for one reason or another… but I for sure got less sleep the second I got my pup.

10. “How hard it is some days to have to take them out multiple times a day to go potty no matter the weather.” - Michelle R

Rain, snow, sun, doesn’t matter. You don’t have days off when you have a dog.

11. “No age is too young to start training.” -Becca K

Work on something like Leave It at the beginning, then look at me, sit, lay down, etc. Make sure you have the resources to help along the way!

12. “How much work you need to put in when they’re very young. It makes such a difference later on.” -Marion L

But remember to have fun AND train a lot. You need balance in your life… for your sanity and for your dog’s.

13. “To get your puppy used to having space away from you. You may want to be with your puppy 24/7 because they’re so adorable - but that could lead to separation anxiety!” -Emily R

Practice giving your dog alone time from a young age. Maybe even start small, like with feeding your puppy in a separate room.

Have a dog that is struggling with separation anxiety or being left alone? Check out our Separation Anxiety Class for Dogs in Pupford Academy.

14. “How messy they are & how much poop you’ll pick up.” -Emily R

Get extra thick poop bags to help with all that 💩

15. “Prevention is key. If you see your dog not doing a bad behavior, reward that.” -Emily R

Reward the good! Heard of the SMART X50 Method? Try that!

16. “People will give you advice even if you don’t ask & may judge what you do - but you can never please everyone. Do what works for you both."

I’m sure everyone receives unsolicited advice from time to time. Remember that you know your dog best!

Related Reading: The Worst Dog Training Advice You've Ever Heard

17. “They are like potato chips hard to just have 1.” -Angel D

“My dog needs a dog.” ;)

Read this if you're considering getting a second dog.

18. “How much I would cry the first few months. Puppy blues are REAL.” -Alyssa D

Know that it’s totally normal to have hard days with a dog! And when you do… you’re not alone. Watch this if you have the puppy blues!

19. “Perfection is your worst enemy! For real, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.” -Jessica L

Like Hannah Montana says, “Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody has those days.”

20. “That I would be so glad I waited until our life was in a place where adding a puppy, with all her busyness, and training needs, would be a joy instead of an added stress on my to-do list. I think I love her more because of that.” -Nikky G

Adding a dog to your life shouldn’t be an impulse buy. It should be a thoughtful decision you make with members of your household. Unfortunately, many people end up regretting getting a puppy.

21. Mental stimulation is just as important as physical play. -Danielle M

If you follow us on any social channel, you have probably heard us talk about mental stimulation. And we won’t stop. It’s. So. Important.

22. “I have to say in all honesty. I found Zak George 30 day pup training about 3 wks bf my puppy came home. I was totally prepared and sooo grateful I found those vids. I had plenty of time to order my supplies and felt ready to start a balanced bonding w my puppy right away!!” -Rita M

Need another reason to try out this FREE program?

23. “You’ll need to factor boarding costs into all of your future trips and vacations.” -Orawan S

Related Reading: 3 Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting a Dog

Boarding, dog sitters, vet bills, food, toys, beds etc. It all adds up. But if you wanna bring your pup with you, read all about taking dogs on vacation here!

Related Reading: Dog Boarding Tips & Red Flags to Consider

24. “#1-even though it's in EVERY video and book you can find, taking the lead and spending the time crate training when they first come home as a new little puppy.” -Andy W

Check out our Crate Training Class here!

25. “In the winter, put a piece of plywood down before it snows. then just pick it up so pup can do it's thing.” -Guillermo A

...IF your dog dislikes the snow. ;) Have a dog that hates snow? Try this hack… or something similar.

26. “How hard it would be when you lose your best friend. I gotta say, I don’t think I would cry for a human as much I did for my shepherd. We know this going in but what we know and what we feel are completely different. Still wouldn’t change the time we had for anything.” - Natasha O

Our dogs are so much work, but there isn’t much that I wouldn't do for my dog. He has been there for me through so much and in my *very* unbiased ;) opinion is worth the hair pulling and hard days.

27. “Repetition is key! It will take hundreds and hundreds of reps before a behavior becomes automatic.” -Laura T

We can’t expect our dogs to pick up on cues and behaviors right away. It will take time, so it is important to have patience for your dog!

28. “Get pet insurance when they're a baby!!!!” -Emily T

Learn all about pet insurance here.

We’ll leave you with these last two...

29. “How much they would steal my heart!” -Abi G

30. “Just how deeply I would love her and life without her would absolutely suck beyond measure. I'm about to cry now lol” -Sara M

*Cue “You’ve Got a Friend In Me” from Toy Story*


Raising a puppy can be hard, frustrating, and challenging. BUT, the bond you create is extremely powerful and seriously incomparable! There are ups and downs, but dogs are amazing creatures who can do amazing things in our lives!

Related Reading: How to Bond With Your Dog

What other things do you think that new pup parents should know? Leave a comment below.


Your Cart

Shipping & taxes calculated at checkout