I heard you got a puppy for Christmas? Congrats!!
Now take the following FREE invaluable advice you’d wished you’d known before you have the issues later people call me about daily.
1. Use the Crate
Crate your puppy and do it when you’re home and when you’re away. Short periods of time and build up to consecutive hours. I know it’s cute and cuddly and loves to just melt in your arms but allow it to have space and please take yours.
2. Feed Meals.
Don’t leave the food out for indefinite periods of time. 20 mins tops. You’re the source of entertainment and the leader so act like it.
3. Don’t “Fix Up” Food.
Doctoring food (unless you have a unwell pet of course) is just another “job” for you. Don’t you have enough jobs? Sweet of you but only necessary because you’re making it “a thing”. Your dog will eat. Some dogs are just not food motivated so be sure to consider that before you make this a second job requiring a second income.
4. No Co-Sleeping.
Sleep in the crate at night, not with you. This ain’t about you. It’s about structure, having your own space and creating boundaries. Your dog doesn’t need to wake up every second you stir and vice verse.
5. Keep Toys Valuable
Don’t leave all the toys down on the ground so your dog finds them less valuable and researches the best piece of furniture to sink their fangs into. Use the toys as alternatives to engaging with you if you’re busy or chewing things they aren’t suppose to. That’s an expensive piece of advice. Take it.
6. Don’t Give Your Puppy Your Entire Kingdom.
We know you want to shower your puppy with everything but don’t devalue yourself! More space means more accidents making it harder to potty train, more opportunities to destroy things and the ingestion of foreign objects which can result in thousands of dollars in vet bills.
7. Integrate a Tether System.
Your puppy needs to learn boundaries and how to behave on a 10-15 foot line attached to a doorknob INSIDE your home before you give them free reign to run the show. The tether allows your children to have their space, teaches the dog how to observe instead of engage and controls the engagement with your children.
8. Consider Furniture Rules
Consider that if you allow a dog on the furniture now, it’s harder to get them down later. You need to have your space and so does your dog. Consider sitting on the ground or allowing your dog up upon invite only. You must have a space for relaxation that is only yours in your home.
9. The Leash is Your Friend
Put your puppy in a harness (do not use a collar for this exercise ever) and allow a leash to drag from the puppy at all times. You’ll find it much easier to gather the puppy when you need to, get it outside quickly, and redirect without using your hands (which should just be used to provide affection).
Thank me later and you’re welcome