Puppy Rearing

Puppy-proof your home

Puppies spend every waking moment exploring the world - discovering what feels good, tastes good and is fun to do. A puppy will put her mouth on anything and everything within reach. If she can get to it, she'll try it.

Raising a puppy means guiding her as she discovers what is OK to have, to chew, to eat, to do - and what isn't. As her guide you have four responsibilities: prevent access; supervise; educate and puppy-proof - put it out of her reach.
  • Preventing access means shutting doors or gating off rooms you don't want her in - at least until she's trained. And when you can't watch her, prevent access by confining her in a crate.
  • Supervision means keeping an eye on her every waking moment that she's able to move about your home - occupying her with education and play.
  • Education is teaching her the right and the wrong of her world. When she attempts something you don't want her to do, utter a negative sound such as "Ah Ah!" and distract her with a toy. She'll learn that biting chair legs fall into the category of "don't even think about it," while soft chew toys are fine.
  • Then there's puppy proofing. A puppy-proofed home has no books on the lower bookshelves, no magazines on the coffee table, potted plants are out of reach and so is the trash. Puppy proofing is a sensible approach to the first few months of your puppy's life with you. This fortress mentality isn't forever - it's just for a few months. And it's time and effort well spent.
No matter how well you unclutter your puppy's environment, you can't eliminate everything - nor do you want to. Through a combination of prevention, supervision, education and confinement, a puppy learns what is and isn't OK to put her mouth on. Click here for information on teething and puppy chewing.

This simple "common sense" approach to raising a puppy will start your life with your new puppy with the best possible relationship.