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Puppy Mischief
What has your little “angel” done?
Puppies can be part angel and part devil.

I was talking recently with my Aunt Liz, who had the Great Danes I knew and loved as a child. We were discussing what great dogs they were, and I guess I only remembered the good times when they were in their prime. I had never known about their puppy antics, and she filled me in. “The worst moment was when Drinan ate the couch,” she said.

Having had many clients who discovered scratches, tears and bite marks on their furniture, I felt very sympathetic when I asked, “How bad was the damage?”

She replied, “It wasn’t a matter of damage. She ATE the couch.” She went on to tell me that her dear dog had actually consumed a large portion of the sofa. She had not just nibbled on the legs or torn open the cushions. Knowing that the dog had survived the incident and that the relationship between Drinan and my aunt and uncle had not only made it past the couch debacle but flourished into true love, it was easy to laugh about it now.

Most of us can look back fondly on the puppy days of the dogs we grow to cherish with our whole hearts. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t live through a certain amount of gnashing of teeth (our own!) when those beloved dogs were puppies. And there’s no need for shame because there’s no judgment here. Anyone who has ever had a puppy has had a moment when in the time it took to sneeze twice, use the bathroom, or answer the phone, something horrendous has happened. Please share what your puppy has done that you just couldn’t believe.

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Karen B. London, PhD, is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer whose clinical work over the last 17 years has focused on the evaluation and treatment of serious behavioral problems in dogs, especially aggression. Karen has been writing the behavior column for The Bark since 2012 and wrote The Bark’s training column and various other articles for eight years before that. She is an adjunct professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University, and teaches a tropical field biology course in Costa Rica. Karen writes an animal column, The London Zoo, which appear in The Arizona Daily Sun and is the author of five books on canine training and behavior. She is working on her next book, which she expects to be published in 2017.

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