As some of you may know from following my Instagram account, our family recently adopted a brand new pup! He is now 12 weeks old and 2 weeks into living in the U home, and we love him and have already grown so attached to him… no matter how much he has driven us completely crazy. There is still a lot we are adjusting to and getting used to, but after Raji asking for a puppy for over two years, seeing him so in love with his pup is already making it all worth it. I grew up always having a dog, to my family, dogs are like family members so I also always wanted Raji to know that feeling. About 10 years ago, Darshan and I tragically lost our 1 1/2 year old puppy suddenly to kidney failure so it took us some time to heal and finally come around to the idea of getting a puppy. Finally after a few years, the timing of Raji’s age, and wanting them to grow up together, now just felt right so when we saw photos of Jimmy we knew we had to have him.
I received a lot of interest and questions about how we are adjusting to puppy life as well as questions about our pup and where he came from over on Instagram. A lot of my friends were wanting to know how the transition is going as a lot of you have young kids and want to add little puppies to your home as well. You guys know I am an open book so I opened up a question box and am happy to answer any questions you had for me! I figured that would be the easiest way to share all of the details here.
What kind of dog is Jimmy?
Jimmy is a F1 Maltipoo.
What does F1 mean? That means that one parent (in our case mother) was a full breed Maltese and one parent (father) is a full breed Poodle. We chose this breed because they have real hair and are completely Hypoallergenic.
Where did you get him?
We got Jimmy from a dog specialist called Puppy Match (@puppy_match). I found them on Instagram and have been following them for the last 3 years, basically around when Raji started asking for a puppy. I knew they were a reputable and respected company that many honest people have trusted to match them with a dog that suits their family so I always knew when we were ready I would want to have their help. Buying a dog from unknown breeders can be scary, you never know what is taking place in someone’s home and how they are caring for parents and puppies, so what I loved about Puppy Match is that they scout the best breeders and do all of the background check for you. They work with the top breeders in the country, and for that I knew I wanted to have them help me in this process as we have already lost a dog due to poor breeding in the past.
Did you adopt from a shelter?
We did not. Trust me, I SO know the value of this. Growing up we never owned a dog that wasn’t adopted or saved from harm. In fact, as a child, I only ever had two dogs that we got as puppies because we always rescued found puppies, pound puppies, or puppies that were about to be abandoned (or in the case of our Pit Bull, my dad rescued him from someone whom he found out was raising him to be a fighter, so awful). Unfortunately, now in our case in our home now, Darshan and Rajan are TERRIBLY allergic to dogs. They have had so many terrible moments from staying at people’s houses or coming home from someone’s house who has a dog that we knew we had to get a breed that was guaranteed with 100% certainty to be hypoallergenic. Back in December, we almost had to take Rajan to the hospital one night after he spent the evening playing with a Pomeranian. It was one of the worst experiences of parenting; he was hallucinating from allergy meds, couldn’t breathe, and was having panic attacks from the combination. I know there are shots and daily meds that they can both take so we could could have a dog of any breed, but honestly who wants to live like that in their own home and even worse if they don’t work I think it would be so much worse to have to give a dog away after a few weeks. I am such an advocate for adoption, it is just unfortunate that for our family, it’s not safely possible and not something we felt ok with putting our son at risk for, I don’t apologize for making my son’s health priority. But if you want to know my heart, I can’t tell you how many times I have almost come home with a puppy from an adoption event, haha (just ask D for all of the photos he gets)!
How is Raj doing with him?
He is doing great! He is so in love with him, prob more than Jimmy loves him back quite yet, hahaha! He smothers and kisses and doesn’t let Jimmy out of sight for long. He is also learning boundaries though and having to learn to be super patient. Jimmy is a teething maniac and a VERY playful biter and so Raj is being so understanding of that and THANKFULLY not turned off by it, but it does hurt his feelings when Jimmy ‘bites’ him. He also really does accidentally encourage it with out realizing which is hard for all of us in regards to correcting the behavior. Raji gets super excited and creates these accidental games of tug of war with Jimmy which typically end with Raji’s finger or socks in Jimmy’s mouth. We have been working a ton on showing Raj how to ‘ignore’ bad behaviors and approach Jimmy more calm, but given he is a 5 year old little boy who is obsessed with his puppy it’s a bit challenging.
Regarding Raji taking ‘responsibility’ for Jimmy, since he is technically his dog, naturally right now while we are measuring and closely monitoring foot intake and potty outtake so it is really hard to rely on a 5 year old for that. For now, we leave Raji in charge of Jimmy’s toy clean up and little basics like carrying him outside or around when my hands are tied up. Raji takes great pride in his ‘little brother’ and it has been so fun watching them grow their bond. The one thing I will honestly say, I wasn’t expecting in the first week of Jimmy being home is Raji being jealous of him! That has pretty much disappeared completely but it was sort of funny that he would start acting like a puppy or doing things while I was giving Jimmy my attention.
Is potty training difficult?
Yes and no, but I think that has been because of luck not skill. We are so lucky in that Puppy Match had Jimmy for a few weeks before we got him and they were already crate training him so I think naturally Jimmy knew how to hold his potty pretty well as well as naturally preferred to go potty outside. We have not been completely accident free by any means, but we are about 80% successful! Jimmy responds really well to touch and love so from day 1 any time he went potty outside we cheered and loved on him. Eventually we started giving treats for him going potty but honestly I do think its his preference and most accidents that have happened inside have been due to our communication being off. He cries when he is stuck somewhere (couch or bed) and has to go potty, and that is something we definitely learned the hard way, albeit quickly. Also, we are fortunate to have a very convenient backyard and the space we keep him majority of the time is right next to our backyard door so it was a natural and an easy learning process for him to prance near the door at potty time. He also is just so naturally smart, not because he is our dog, we find he learns QUICK (definitely a breed trait).
A new tip we just learned from an amazing dog trainer at Good Dogs OC: don’t leave food or water available at all times. Whether we feed him every 30 minutes or every 2 hours we should always be in control of when he takes in food or water because that then allows us to properly time potty breaks, that has been an amazing tip so far!
Does he wake up a lot at night?
He is sleeping in his crate at night which has been the best thing yet! The first two nights I woke up him every 3 hours to go potty just so I could monitor his bladder control, the third night was our absolute worse yet (we think he was finally getting attached to us so didn’t want to be in the crate) and after that night we spent a lot of day time ‘playing’ in the crate with us present and from then on he has slept so much better at night so long as he is RIGHT next to my side of the bed. He wakes up once for a potty break at 5am but even that is starting to stretch a little longer as long as our night routine goes well. We make sure to get PLENTY of play time from 8-9:30pm, stop food by 8:30, then do a 9pm and 11pm potty break then into the crate he goes for the night. So far this has been the most successful with the least amount of nightly wake ups, and on a few nights when he did get woken up by a noise at night I reach over and stick my hand in the crate and that soothes him back to sleep.
How much does he weight?
As of his first Vet appointment with us (2 weeks ago), he was 5lbs! We will find out an update this week.
How big will he get?
He is estimated to be 8 lbs.
His dad is a 5lb Miniature Poodle and mama is an 8 lb Maltese.
Why is he named Jimmy?
Ha! If you saw my video of us surprising Raji with him, then you saw we let Raji name him. Currently everything in Raj’s world revolves around the San Francisco 49ers which means his currently idol is Jimmy Garoppolo (‘Jimmy G’), their quarterback, so without hesitation when we asked what he wanted to name his pup, “Jimmy G!”
What is the adjustment like?
It’s an adjustment. Mostly we are so used to coming and going as we please, even when Raj was an infant we never really changed that about ourselves, he just came everywhere with us. With Jimmy it is a bit more complicated, obviously, because he is a dog. Dogs aren’t allowed at most restaurants, grocery stores, doctors appointments, school, etc. SO that means we are having to coordinate and time things according to amount of time out of house right now. Also with Jimmy being still too young, not having all of his shots, and being of smaller size we also have to be cautious on where we take him for health reasons. I think this will get easier when we can hire dog sitters and especially when we can bring Jimmy to public places with us, but for now it is sort of tough! Thankfully we have amazing parents who don’t mind puppy sitting for the puppy snuggles ( we are a total dog family) so it has made carrying on with most plans ok. Other than that, its like having a newborn! We are tired because of his early morning potty breaks and balancing puppy stage with a 5 year old soooo we are dragging a little, lol! I just keep telling myself that being hands on and really putting energy into the hardcore training now will pay off so we can have a well trained and behaved pup for the next 20 years!
How are you teaching and working with Raj about training him?
We are trying! Right now it is hard because we have to monitor so much for health reasons, but when I do something with Jimmy I still have Raji there and explain everything to him. His biggest chore with pup right now is picking up all of his puppy toys around the house and playing with him! Eventually as Jimmy is more predictable and easier to manage he will be in charge of almost every chore. For example, currently Jimmy is on a combined wet and dry food diet for weight gain, Raji cannot measure and mix that or administer meds that get served with meals BUT eventually we will wean off wet food and only do dry food which Raj can easily scoop himself. Little things like that we will definitely ‘train’ Raji to do, ha!
We made the decision for no more babies, will a puppy fill in for one more?
Lol! LOVED this question. I would say, YES! In the early puppy stages its definitely like having a new baby. Having a human kid and tons of dogs in my life, it still really annoys me when people with only pets say its exactly the same as raising humans, that a HARD NO and so offensive to people with human children because I have a human and while there is big love and time that goes into both, its nothing the same. BUT, they do fill a large portion of your heart and home and do feel like they complete your family. I stand by that! So can you love your pet like your kid? yes. Is it the same? no. Are they the best family addition? YES!
Can I have him? (hahaha)
Favorite question. NO. But I love you guys for asking me this.
What items did you need when you first got him?
I think I will do a separate post on what we are loving so far (gosh these are so like the Mommy Blogger newborn baby questions and posts, lmao). But main things: food and water bowls, crate, bed, collar, leash, food, and we love having the training size treats. OH! Also, LOTS of teething toys. Miniature rope toys, textured Nylabone, and Kong toys have been his favorite. Also, we got the Snuggle Puppy for his crate and he sleeps on that every night!
Did you get a puppy because you are done having kids?
Most common question by people we know and don’t know on the internet. No, that is not why we got him. We don’t know if we are done having kids or if we want more, also don’t know when nor do we ever set a timeline for that on ourselves, but Jimmy is definitely not here to fill a void, lol! Our kiddo has simply been asking for 2+ years and we wanted Raji to grow up with a pup of his own so we got him one!
Are you crate training?
Yes and it is 100% my biggest recommendation. This is the first dog I have ever crate trained in my entire life and it is a game changer!!! There are so many helpful Youtube videos on this topic that really helped me. Biggest tip: get a crate you can move from room to room and make it a very familiar place for pup when you are and are not present. We play games with Jimmy in his crate (hiding treats and toys), let him walk in and out of his on his own, have a small bed inside, and never ever use it for time outs or discipline. The whole concept is that you want their crate to be like their bedroom or safe place. We 100% believe that. Dogs are by nature den animals so when you look into the research, there are so many incredible benefits to crate training and it already shows!
Is getting a small puppy a lot of work?
Yes. Honestly, I did not want another miniature or small dog because the last dog we lost was bred to be miniature and I felt jaded from that, but currently for our lifestyle its what will work best for us at this stage of life (staying at people’s houses, going to office with us, etc.). I really wanted a Golden Doodle, but our lifestyle just doesn’t currently suit the needs of a big dog and I fully respect that (maybe when Raj is older and can contribute more). I had a small yorkie poo that had so many health complications that we came into getting another small dog HYPER cautious and within the first 3 days of having him we made a 1 hour consult with our Vet and went deep into ruling out every precaution. Our vet knows our animal history so has been AMAZING at calming any fears or paranoia I have and for that I am grateful. With small dogs, you just have to be so aware of how much they are eating, what they find in the yard, what they are exposed to, etc. because their bodies are so small so naturally they can’t fight a ton of toxic things bigger dogs can. The first couple of months just take so much more involvement but I am grateful to know that this second time around whereas with my first super tiny pup I just wasn’t educated enough. Please make sure to do your research if you plan to get a small pup and just know that will take you a long way!
Hope you guys have been loving getting to know Jimmy like we have! I take loving and caring for a puppy so serious so I am excited to share this journey with you guys because finding posts like this were so helpful to me the weeks before we brought Jimmy home. I also know what a big decision it is for a family to decide to bring a puppy into the home, especially when kids are involved, so I wanted to be a source for you in your decision making.
Please let me know what other topics I can cover regarding Jimmy, naturally anything I find and love I will share, but if there is something specific I am happy to help!