Karen B. London
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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.


Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

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Submitted by Carolyn | June 26 2010 |

Suki wasn't a young puppy, exactly, but she was incorrigible where food was involved. My parents were visiting us and my mom recalls that early one morning after I'd left for work, Suki pushed open the guest bedroom door, stared at my mom and sleeping dad. Normally a very friendly dog, she eyed them, then left. The coast was clear.

Later that morning, I phoned my parents and asked them to check the frozen chicken I'd put in the kitchen sink to thaw for our evening meal. My mom reported that there was no chicken in the sink ... or the counter ... or the fridge ... or anywhere in fact.

We tried to piece together how young Suki managed to get a whole frozen chicken out of the sink, eat all of it while frozen solid without attracting attention ... or getting sick. She did eventually pass a few telltale Styrofoam fragments from the packing tray but otherwise was untroubled by the experience.

After that, I pretty much had to keep any food under lock and key.

Submitted by Teri | June 28 2010 |

On his second day home I was eager to share pics of the new puppy with friends so headed up to the office with puppy and a chew toy. While he was happily occupied I composed my email and then wondered why all of a sudden my keyboard wouldn't work ..... came up a few moments later with a keyboard cord sliced neatly into pieces. I purchased a cordless version the next day :o).

Submitted by Lani | July 15 2010 |

My teenage beagle pup dug under the back fence into the neighbors yard then went into their garage where they kept a playpen full of stuffed animals for when their grandchildren visited. He scaled the playpen and removed every toy then commenced to tear every single one of them apart in the backyard. After doing this he returned home and was napping when my neighbor walked around to block to ask me if my dog was in the back yard, I peeked over the 6' fence only to see that the yard looked like it had a foot of snow on it. So what do you say.....oopsies !

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