Puppy Proofing and Preparing 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 he can get to it, he’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 your puppy in—at least until she’s trained. When you can’t watch him, prevent access by confining him in a crate.
- Supervision means keeping an eye on your puppy’s 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 “Uh uh!” 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 is 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 is not OK to put her mouth on. See puppy teething and puppy chewing.
This simple, common sense approach to raising a puppy will start your life with your new puppy for the best long-term relationship.