1. It will change everything, at least temporarily anyway.
I will start with the hardest one first. Although getting a puppy is a great adventure, I speak from experience when I say he or she will change your life. In my case, Molly was a well thought out plan and in the upcoming weeks of her coming to live with us we had puppy proofed the house, the garden and all the furniture but nothing can fully prepare you for the big bundle of fluffy naughtiness!
2. He or she will chew absolutely ANYTHING.
In the first few months of Molly living with us I was off work. So she got my full undivided attention at all times. I was there to stop her from chewing anything and start on the toilet training. It was only when I started back at work when she was 6 months old that she starting playing up. While teething, they will chew anything they can. It doesn't matter how many toys you get to distract them from your furniture, they will still have a go if you're not around to stop them. So far Molly's chewed the armchair, the sofa, the rug, the coffee table and our 1970's radiogram.
3. They are like having a child.
Besides the lovely feeling of them actually being like your offspring (I call them both my babies all the time) he or she will require so much attention. When puppies are only a few weeks or few months old, it's easier to wear them out but when their awake they'll need metal simulation which is how they learn to play and just be the cutest damn things.
4. Your social life will be less...well social.
Because puppies need so much attention and love in their first year you'll find that leaving them for long periods of time is a definite no no. Besides the massive amount of guilt you'll feel at first whenever you leave the house, it's wise to spend as much time with your pup as you can or they'll play up and leave you wondering why they're misbehaving.
5. You must have patience.
Trust me, it's easy to feel like your getting nowhere with your puppy if they're still weeing on the floor when they know they need to go outside. So many times, I have felt like going back and trying puppy pads again (she just used to rip them up not wee on them!) but the reality is they'll eventually learn, just like children! Patience is key when getting a puppy, she's definitely tested mine but my god she's so worth it!
6. Invest in a Kong, they're a life saver!
I got introduced to Kong's when Molly was chewing everything in the house, I was stuck on what to do with her. The toys we had got her she had got bored of and so she was focusing on the furniture. When we got the Kong's for them we also brought doggy peanut butter, and we found it kept them occupied for hours. Now the weather's getting warmer, we fill the Kong's with strawberry yogurt then pop them in the freezer overnight. It not only cools them down but it keeps them occupied you need to go out for a few hours.
7. You won't get a moments peace.
During their first few weeks with you, they'll be constantly by your feet and crying whenever you're not in sight. What can you expect when their in a house they don't know and they're away from their mother brothers and sisters? They look to you for cuddles and love when they need it so you need to make sure your there to give them what they need. It's important not to pander too much to it though, when we first got Molly I used to shut the bathroom door if I needed the loo and she would cry and scratch at the door. If you pander to it, they will think it's okay to do it as you'll let them in. That way they think they've sussed you out! Be strict when you need to, toilet time is private time!
8. Teaching them what no means is crucial.
As soon as you see he or she doing something naughty, saying no loudly and abruptly will eventually teach them that they can't do that. Puppies need to learn this early on so they know what they can and cannot do. You'll find that saying no to them makes them realise pretty quickly that they're being told off!
9. Barriers are important.
We installed a children's stair gate at the bottom of our stairs so she knew she wasn't allowed upstairs. When we were training her, we used to sometimes leave the gate open and if she tried to come up the stairs we would just say "no!" and she would know that she couldn't come up. Keep repeating this then eventually he or she will know that upstairs is your area, and downstairs is theirs.
10. You'll be a proper little family.
I thought i'd finish on a high. I could have never predicted such a naughty, playful, clumsy, mischievous little ball of fluff would make such a big difference to my life. She may drive me mad sometimes, but the welcome home I get from her and Connie on a daily basis, beats any feelings of upset and annoyance. I wouldn't swap her for the world!