You and your family have spent a considerable amount of energy and time finding the right puppy for your lifestyle. He has now become a precious member of the family and counts on you for his emotional well-being as well as his health and safety. Your home is going to be his home too and you owe it to him to provide a safe, sound environment.
Caught in the act
Whenever you are supervising your puppy, you can encourage him to chew safely. Every time you see him start to chew the wrong thing, like an electrical cable, you can redirect the chewing to an appropriate dog toy.
If you puppy-proof your home, you will help the process by preventing your puppy from making the wrong decisions when you are not around to watch. It’s amazing how tidy you and your family will become with a new puppy in the house!
Harsh correction will not help with the training and could, in fact, interfere with it, causing more serious problems. Instead of punishing him, simply interrupt your puppy’s chewing of any inappropriate items and instantly switch him to a proper chew toy.
You may not want your puppy to climb onto your beds and sofas if you don’t like the shedding, are allergic, or have a priceless, fancy spread. If you keep your puppy off the furniture at all times – starting when he is very young – and no one ever breaks the rule, it’s highly likely that you will end up with a dog who simply stays off.
* Ensure that your rubbish bin is stored inside a cupboard, or invest in a counter-recessed bin with the lid on the countertop.
* Make sure you know exactly which ‘human foods’ are not safe for dogs. Onions, foods high in salt, alcohol, grapes and raisins are just a few.
* Personal hygiene, beauty and cleaning products must be packed away in a wall cabinet or in pedestal drawers.
* If you keep medicine in the bathroom, it should be in a locked cabinet.
* Keep your human and pet first-aid kits out of reach of kids and puppy.
* Keep the toilet bowl closed. Never let your dog drink water from the loo.
* Keep blind-cords and curtain tiebacks out of reach.
* Keep electrical cords out of reach.
* Don’t leave your cellphone charger plugged in. A shiny, dangling cord is bound to look like something fun to tug on.
* Rope in the kids to keep their rooms tidy and to pack away after games.
* Don’t leave your cigarettes on your nightstand.
* If you don’t want chewed shoes, keep them in the cupboard!
* False teeth and glasses should also be put away, or you may be in for a costly surprise!
By leaving things lying on the floor you make your dog think it’s his toys. A house with a dog needs to be a tidy one. Don’t try to train your dog by chasing him, cornering him, and punishing him for picking up ‘human stuff’. If your dog gets hold of something of yours and runs off with it, go in the opposite direction. Encourage your dog to chase you and swap something nice for that toy.
Text: Roxy Greyling
The full article appears in the June issue of AnimalTalk.