I’m raising a few puppies right now. I’ve done a lot of puppy raising over the years, both for breeders and for clients (and, obviously, for myself). When clients are struggling with their own puppies it’s usually pretty easy to guess the root of the problem: too much freedom and attention.
I know, I know… you got a puppy because you wanted a pal. You don’t want to keep them in a box. You took two weeks off of work so you could make every crate experience the puppies own choice and bonded by hanging out on the couch. But now, that two weeks is up and you HAVE to put the puppy in the box… and the puppy isn’t having it. Yikes, what went wrong?
I love my puppies just as much as the next person. But loving them means understanding that what *I* want to do with my puppy isn’t always what is best for them.
If I want my puppy to get used to being in a crate when I’m out of the house, I need to make that a normal part of their life as soon as possible. I feed every meal in the crate, have them spend plenty of time in them both when I am home and when I leave, and I have multiple crates/pens set up around the house so they don’t get too accustomed to a certain environment/amount of activity. My time spent with my puppies is intentional and always directly supervised.
Potty training is also less complicated if you aren’t letting your puppy run around loose all day while you’re home. Baby puppies have baby bladders… and they need to physically mature a bit before they can learn to hold it. Too much freedom in the house means a high risk of accidents, and a more difficult time potty training. Puppies need to go outside regularly and have no opportunities to make a mistake inside. That’s the secret to it. How do you accomplish that? By using a crate, making a schedule, observing your puppy closely, and understanding that any mistakes they DO make are probably human error. With time, physical maturity, and structure, healthy puppies will potty train. But a puppy with too much freedom, no schedule, and inconsistent owners will struggle for much, much longer.
Jumping/biting/counter surfing/stealing household items/etc… don’t let them do that! Again, too much freedom is happening if your puppy is able to jump all over your house guests or run off with a sock. Keeping your puppy on a leash in the house, using your crate when you can’t directly supervise, and making sure all inappropriate items are out of reach when the puppy is out will prevent those normal-puppy-issues from spiraling out of control as they grow.
Puppies are hard. I get it! But they’re WAY harder if you don’t look at restricting their freedom as a temporary (necessary) state of existence. Preventing bad behavior now will save you a LOT of trouble later… do right by your puppy and your family by raising your puppy like a dog trainer would! And if you need help, contact Dog Dynamix Ohio today.