My 7 Best Pieces of Puppy Advice

1 || Not all dogs like the same toys. Archie is a retriever and we pretty much assumed he would love rope toys. We bought twelve gagillion toys of all kinds before we even brought him home and turns out, the kid couldn’t care less about rope toys. Zero interest. Buy a toy or two of each variety (a ball, stuffy, rope toy, bone) and see which they like most before investing.

2 || Never buy toys at the pet store. You’ll love T.J. Maxx and Marshalls for a whole new reason. Cheap dog toys! What you’d pay $8.99 for at Petsmart you can get for $3.99 at T.J. Maxx or Marshalls. Plus you pretty much have to walk through the clothes section to get to the dog toys. You’re welcome.

3 || Think of some items as an investment. Okay, okay, there are a few things we do buy at the pet store. Like antlers. Yes, antlers. They run between $19-$26 but provide hours of entertainment (they’re cheapest on Amazon). Listen, an antler beats a bully stick any day. Google what’s in a bully stick, I dare you. We also invested in a slow feeder bowl to keep Archie from inhaling his food and then barfing. Worth it.

4 || The stuff that’s cute when they’re little is bad when they’re big. Archie jumped when he was 6lbs. now he’s 50lbs. He also had a fascination with our coffee table and evidently, still does.

He always loved to curl up on our pillows. Again, fine when he took up 10% of the bed space but he now takes up 50% and sleeps there every night. I wish I was kidding.

Side story: Me and Archie combined weigh what N weighs. He thinks bed space should be based off of that and therefore Archie and I should get half the bed and he gets the other half. Ahem…NOPE.

5 || Buy the 32GB iPhone. You’d think this would be unrelated but I have over 3,200 pictures and 2,500 (easily) are of Archie. I have the 16GB and I’m always having to delete pictures.

6 || Be creative with your punishment. Archie thinks all attention is good attention. Plus I’m not super convincing as a disciplinarian. We do know that he still hates his cone because every time we get it out he acts like it’s a torture device. He also could not figure out what the hell my sports bra was doing on him but that’s what he gets for chewing on it. If all else fails, it just might be time to vacuum.

7 || It’ll all be worth it. Puppies are great for entertainment, practicing your DSLR photography, providing you with blog post topics, getting more exercise, inspiring you to keep your house picked up, warning you about what you’ll be like as a parent, and more importantly, learning what you’re significant other will be like as a parent. Turns out, we’re both pushovers. But with that face, how could you not be?

What is your best puppy advice?

This post is inspired by Heather, who brought home a pup a few weeks ago and now I stalk her on instagram like it’s my job.


Today it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Gayle from Grace for Gayle.

Gayle is a previvor and has been brave enough to share her story of finding out she was BRCA positive and her experience with getting a preventative double mastectomy. You can read more about Gayle’s story here. Gayle also has some crazy informative posts, like when she taught us how to blur your house on google maps. Whoa! She is also very candid about her faith, posts that are always so personal to read.

What I love about Gayle’s blog is that she doesn’t post crap. When Gayle posts, it’s quality. She’s got strong opinions but whether you agree with them or not, her posts are always worth reading. In blog world, I can’t imagine a higher compliment. Visit Grace for Gayle or follow her on Bloglovin.

  • Great advice!!! Except Walter is full grown and 21lbs…so he can still jump on stuff and sleep on the bed with no issues. But yes…Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, and sometimes Target for toys!

  • hahahah at those pics. And my mom’s been telling me about antlers but I had no idea what she was talking about! We’ll have to invest

  • I think my favorite thing is the whole…it is cute when they are puppies but do you want a 50 lb dog doing it. I love that Archie stands on your coffee table. Gracie used to like to lay on my chest and sleep…it was so cute when she was 5 lbs…now she is huge and has bad breath, but must lay across me to nap anyways! Mac likes to sit on top of his car crate, Snoopy style.

  • The stuff that’s cute when they’re little is bad when they’re big. – Could this BE any more true?!

  • Your dog is still adorable. Marshalls and TJ Maxx are awesome for so many reasons, pet toys is one of them.

  • so many puppy photos! you’re going to need an external hard drive just for the phone.

  • Sometimes The Dollar Tree has cute dog toys, if not they always have stuffed animals which are great for getting puppies through get that chew and rip stage.

  • That picture of puppy Archie propped up on the coffee table might be one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen, and I’m generally a cat person! 🙂

  • My dog/puppy advice is BE READY FOR THE COMMITMENT! It’s like having a child. You have to make sure you’re really prepared to not only feed, water, and walk, but train and discipline your dog. You can’t give them away when you don’t want to come home and let them out before going out with your friends. This seems to be the biggest problem my friends have when getting dogs. 🙂

    They’re lifetime lovers. 🙂

  • love your advice!! it’s all so true. haha glad my crazy little devil can inspire and entertain you. EW to bully sticks. levon loves them though… so whatever works to entertain him, right??

  • haha great advice! we thought it was hilarious when bowie was a puppy and would bark like crazy before we fed him. and now, nearly 3 years later – it’s a weeeee bit (i.e. very) annoying but we’re stuck with it. and my photo camera roll looks very very similar!

  • oh man this is NOT helping my puppy fever! the people i nanny for just got a lab puppy, and she is the cutest thing ever. like i adore when they have “drunk” puppy moves and fall all over themselves!!

  • Yeah we are still working through the habits that were cute when she was 15 lbs…not 75… and antlers?! I will have to try and find these in our pet store..the vet said the bully stick was the best for her teeth..but whoooooo do they STINK!!!

  • He’s impossibly cute!! My boyfriend just got a new dog who’s under 25 pounds, so when he misbehaves, nothing truly bad happens. I keep reminding him to train the bad habits out of him though, because what if he plans to get a bigger dog later on? What’s okay for this little guy to do might not be so cute when a 70 pound dog learns them from him.

  • Archie is adorable! I love your forms of discipline 🙂

  • i did not know bully sticks are made from bull peen!!
    #4 is melting my heart, SO CUTE.

  • These are too good! For those who don’t know what’s in a bully stick and haven’t Googled it, don’t. It’s gross, but they’re effective at giving dogs something to chew on that won’t be harmful and lasts a long time.

  • I have a 20 month old Neopolitain Mastiff that is currently 110 lbs and he is a full time indoor dog. He only goes out to use the restroom and when he wants to play or just lay on the porch. I never had an inside dog while growing up and I never knew I could ever love a dog so much and that they could love so unconditionally. He knows how to get attention when he doesn’t think he is getting enough and he knows when he’s in trouble. He sleeps with us so its like 3 full size adults sleeping in a queen size bed but it works out most of the time. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • Yes, yes, yes and YES. ALL of the above. Especially the last one. I tell myself every day…this will be worth it when she’s full grown…this will be worth it when she’s full grown lol.

  • Oh, my goodness! You made laugh out loud with the vacuum comment. My Lab, Delta hates the vacuum. When she was younger, we would park the vacuum in our bedroom doorway at night…one, so she wouldn’t leave the bedroom, and two, she wouldn’t chew on anything during the night if the “monster” was watching over her. Yes, we call our vacuum cleaner the monster. 🙂

  • Archie is such a cutie pie! I was raised with dogs all of my life and now that I’m living on my own am going through some serious dog withdrawals 🙁 wish that I had the time to devote to raising a new pup and the money for the extra pet fee! My giant lab, Cody (at my parent’s house) loves toys but they all usually only last him a few hours because he rips ’em up so quick. I’ll have to give the antlers a try!

  • oh this post isn’t good for my puppy clock. I want/need a puppy so badly! PS I googled bully stick. brb, puking now.

  • Oh my gosh I remember when our chlo bear used to crawl and drag herself on our coffee table and furniture…she luckily didn’t continue doing that when she got bigger…but look at the fluff balls when they are that young, too cute!!! I need to get that device you mentioned for their food. Chloe seriously binges and purges all the freaking time since she eats too fast and then starts whining and drooling then she pukes. Did you just get it at a pet store?

    xo Dinah @ Sunshine super glam

  • I have wayyy too many of my dog on my phone haha. My parents chocolate lab used to sit on the top of the couch cushions when she was little. It was so cute when she was small, but now she is 70 lbs and ruins the cushions. They can’t get her to stop sitting on them. Puppies really are worth it!!


  • Oh how I love all these pics. The sports bra one never gets old. SO TRUE about the Marshall’s shopping. Great, cheap supplies. And wow, antlers are pricey up your way!

  • This could not come at a better time! We pick up our puppy next month. I need all the advice I can get!

  • My camera roll looks the same and I’m always having to delete pictures. Lame. And TJ Maxx is the best for dog toys & beds! Love the pic of Archie on the coffee table. Our little dogs does that all the time. Luckily Winnie doesn’t get on furniture because Annabelle won’t allow it. Having dogs has taught us that Annabelle is the disciplinarian in our house!

  • What cute advice and I agree, I have seen SO many cheap dog toys at discount stores and I do not even have a dog!

    Sparkles and Shoes

  • P.

    Yout puppy is ADORABLE! I have two of my own; they are 8 months and boy are they something! They are like two big hairy babies.

    Ana Paula
    {Visit me at Mommyhood, PhD}

  • We’ve definitely learned all these lessons! Especially the “whats cute when they’re little is not so cute when they’re big”!

    That pic of him in the cone – he looks absolutely sad! May have to try that one…haha

  • We had a springer for 8 years, and now we’re about to bring home a 2 month old puppy. We got our last at 8 months, so we aren’t used to this tiny chewable peeing everywhere age! 🙂 Follow along to see what happens at my blog and instagram @sairanaomi! 🙂

  • KL

    What is your best puppy advice?

    Never buy a puppy or dog from pet store or breeder when there are millions of purebreds dying daily in our shelters.
    Breed rescue groups have the puppies you must have.

    regarding toys, dollar stores have the same toys as pet smart and petco for 1.00 😉

  • My black lab, Tucker, LOOOOOVES stuffed animals… which we buy at Goodwill for $.25. He thinks we’re the best parents ever, and we spend all his toy money on more important things… like wine.

  • I can’t even stand looking at photos of Archie…he is simply too cute and I want to squeeze him!!

    During the summer, Steven and I go to yard sales and buy stuffed animals for Huck. He loves stuffed animals but tears them to shreds in a few hours so we never purchase them at pet stores (I mean, who in the world would buy a stuffed moose for $22 that their 70lb dog will rip to shreds in seconds?). At yard sales we can get a box of stuffed animals for 10$! (Just don’t tell the kid there who used to love those stuffed animals dearly what you plan on doing with them!) 😉

  • The pictures of him as a puppy leaning on the coffee table and then ON the coffee table as an adult are absolutely cracking me up. We adopted Ollie when he was 2 so I missed his puppy stage. 🙁 I so wish I could have seen him that way because he would have been the fluffiest thing out there.

  • We can’t have dogs in our place, so my family dog stayed with my, well, family. I miss him so much, but this makes me that much more excited for when we can finally have pets.

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