We welcomed Paprika to the family in December 2020. After what was the longest year ever, we needed a little light. Paprika is a Papillon (pronounced Pap-E-on) and has quite the attitude. More on Papillon’s from the AKC: Click here. This is the first “toy” sized dog that either of us has owned, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. My main concern was that a toy dog wouldn’t do well with the number of children in our household. She was the best thing that came out of 2020 for us.
When we brought Paprika home, Leela did not like what she saw. We had a new pup with an attitude to take over the home. We introduced them in steps and kept a close eye. It took 24 hours for Leela to warm up to her and now they’re best friends. I’d describe Leela now as “patient”. As a bonus, Leela lost weight playing with her new friend.
Making Time for a New Pup
Everything in a big family is shared, so this instance is no different. When it comes to meeting a new family member’s needs, everyone reports for duty. Potty training has been challenging, given that it’s been frigid. Sometimes she goes outside, then turns right back around. She’ll make eye contact with me and say, “you’re kidding me, right?”
Potty training has improved since we found her favorite dog training treat. She’s been more excited about going outside instead of in the house. There is a ton of snow on the ground still, making it difficult with “mixed texture.” We all take turns taking her out on a schedule of every hour. It’s me right when she wakes up in the morning, and then we alternate every hour between the older kids and the adults. We have potty training pads in the house, but she uses them less and less.
Making sure they have food and water is the adults’ job, but baby Hopper loves to fill the food for the animals. Sometimes he also likes to mix dog food into the water, but that’s a different topic.
Training a Papillon
As mentioned in the potty training, getting Paprika excited for training was very helpful. We watched Percy the Papillon on YouTube before deciding on the breed. We were not disappointed by this dog’s great personality. She’s incredibly smart, but also as a puppy she’s very excited about everything and is hard to get calm to work on training. Most importantly to us is that she can come when called in case she gets out off-leash. We work on that daily with treats. We use two humans, each holding treats. One human stands in one room and the other human in another room. We stay consistent with “come” and the way we all say it. Then we call back and forth to have her run from room to room.
We then move this “come” exercise outside in an enclosed yard to change up the scenery. If she only does one trick, this one is the most important. We’re also working on things like sit and leave-it, but potty training and “come” at the moment.
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