Puppies are good for the soul. They love you unconditionally and they are hard not to love back, except when they have just shredded your favorite pair of shoes! Take heart, though: with consistent training on your part and patience, you can break your puppy’s bad habits.
Until then, here are some ideas on how to puppy proof your house.
Puppy Proof from Chewing
When it comes to finding things to chew on, puppies are a lot like babies. Puppies are at the same eyelevel as a crawling baby and if they find something to explore, it automatically goes in the mouth. Chewing and tasting is how babies learn about their environment and puppies are no different; they are just “baby dogs.”
To prevent puppies from chewing on things they shouldn’t, you need to keep valuable items out of their reach or stored somewhere they can’t get into. They also need to have alternatives they can chew on, like dog toys and bones.
Because you can’t suspend your furniture up in the air to protect it, you will have to use an alternative method to break this specific habit of chewing on your furniture. At your local pet store you can find a product that you place or spray on your furniture to make it taste awful. Then when your puppy goes to chew on it, they won’t like the taste and it will break them of doing it anymore.
Puppy Proof from Scratching
Scratching the door and furniture may be the two biggest scratching hurdles that you face with a new puppy. Damage from both types of scratching can be prevented with a little creative thinking on your part.
Until you are able to break your puppy from scratching at the door, I would recommend putting a piece of cardboard up to protect the door. Once the puppy has learned that scratching is not acceptable, you can take the cardboard off and you won’t have to replace or repaint the door.
To protect your furniture from scratching, provide the puppy a set of carpeted dog steps to get up to where they want to go (if allowed).
Puppy Proof from Peeing
If you are going to skip the puppy pads and go with the traditional methods of housebreaking, protecting your flooring is the priority.
First, do not let the puppy roam around the house unsupervised. This will make it easier for you to catch them if they are making the motions of getting ready to go; then you can put them outside. It will also allow you to discipline them if they do go on the carpet. A puppy does not understand what he is in trouble for unless you discipline them as soon as they do the unwanted behavior.
Second, when you are gone, always isolate your puppy on flooring that can handle water, like linoleum. To protect it even more, put down a layer of newspaper or absorbent pads to soak up any liquid.
If you are having trouble housebreaking your pet, they may be having anxiety issues. Your vet will be able to assess the problem and may be able to prescribe a pet medication to calm your puppy’s anxiety. Or you may want to consider puppy training classes that are available at local pet stores, or a private trainer.
“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” Ben Williams
About the Author
Jane Warren is a freelance writer, puppy lover and foster mom to many pets that were unwanted by their original owners. To the unwanted pet, Jane’s door is never closed. Read more about Jane and her animals at http://www.pamperthepets.com/.