The Joys of a New Puppy…and Maybe a Tiny Bit of Chaos!

Written by Laurie Yost, owner of Playful Pups Retreat and founder of Pitties Love Peace, Inc.

Playful Pups Retreat is proud to be a Fear Free certified facility. Laurie also holds the highest level of certification through PACCC (Professional Animal Care Certification Council) with a CPACO certification (Certified Professional Animal Care Operator).

PenguinLast night we added a new puppy to our pack.  Her name is Penguin, and she is a foster that will remain as part of our family until she finds her forever family.  She and her brother joined the rescue organization I work with, Pitties Love Peace, yesterday afternoon.  Penguin, aka Penny, is a 9 week old,  bundle of joy.  Penguin’s brother, Puffin, went to another puppy foster family where he will live until his perfect family adopts him.

As Penguin was settling in last night and getting to know our pack, which consists of 8 other dogs, I was thinking about how much I adore puppies. Not everyone is a puppy person, but I truly love them. Now, to be clear, puppies are A LOT of work, and we have a very full house. So as much as I love puppies, there is a fair amount of stress involved as well. But there is a far greater amount of satisfaction that comes from knowing that we played a crucial role in helping each puppy we foster develop into a happy and well-rounded canine before they move on to their “happily ever after”.

Our furry family includes a range of dogs from a 14 lb. dachshund to a 145 lb. cane Corso. In addition to Penguin, we have a 7 month old Great Dane puppy named Mosha and several senior dogs with a variety of health issues. To maintain a happy and well-balanced multi-dog household it is important to instill rules and boundaries immediately when we welcome a new puppy into our family.  Regardless of whether the puppy is a foster dog who will only be with us for a few months, or a permanent new family member, such as Mosha, they learn quickly what is expected of them.

Puppies are fast learners and are eager to please. It is a wonderful time to begin training, teach good manners and begin socializing with new people and other dogs. It is also important to take them to dog friendly places to create as many positive experiences as possible.  The foundation you lay during the first 4 or 5 months of a baby dog’s life will set them up for a lifetime of success!

Penguin on their bedWe have fostered for over 25 years, welcoming over 100 puppies into our family over the years and preparing them to be their best possible furry selves when they join their new families.  An important component to a positive start is Puppy Social Skills Daycare, offered at Playful Pups Retreat. This specialized daycare program is designed for baby dogs. Our team of skilled puppy trainers are dedicated to designing positive experiences to teach basic manners, build confidence, and establish life skills such as crate training, potty training, and instill comfort and enjoyment with body handling. Pet parents often don’t consider the importance of their pup being happy and comfortable being “handled”, but this is crucial during vet visits, nail trims or grooming appointments. This provides a lifetime of benefit, so begin developing this skill at a young age.

Puppies will pee all over the house, possibly chew furniture or the cord to your laptop (both of which have happened to me, more than once) and they can be tiny whirlwinds of terror at times, but as long as you are committed to being a patient person who takes the time to do the work involved your puppy will develop into an amazing lifelong companion. Consider finding a pet care partner to help in the puppy raising journey, such as Playful Pups Retreat or our friend Maria, at Full Potential Dog Training!

Pitties Love Peace is a 501c3 organization based in Elizabethtown, PA that was founded in 2012. The rescue is dedicated to the rescue and advocacy of pit bulls and bully breeds. If you are interested in opening your home and heart to fostering dogs in need, you can learn more at