Puppy Training

Get the whole family involved in puppy training.

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You will soon find that having a puppy in the house changes the entire household dynamic as everyone adapts to the huge responsibility, and lots of thought must go into caring for it.

In order to keep the puppy safe and to eliminate the possibility of sheer chaos when your new pet comes into your home, discuss how your puppy will be kept with all members of your family. The following points must be discussed:

Puppy boundaries: It's never a good idea to let a young puppy have free run of the house. Puppies that are allowed to go wherever they want soon get into serious trouble. Not only will it be difficult to housetrain a puppy that roams freely in your home, it will also be impossible to keep it out of trouble.

For this reason, decide where your puppy will be kept when you are unable to supervise it. If your pup is cratetrained, its crate is the best spot for it when you can't watch its every move. Another option is to buy a baby gate or two and section off a room of the house where it will spend most of its time. Your backyard is also a good place for your puppy to spend some time as long as it has been carefully puppyproofed and you are able to keep an eye on puppy while it is outside.

Make sure everyone in the family understands the importance of keeping the puppy confined while it is still learning the rules of the house, and be certain everyone is willing to enforce the puppy's boundaries. There is nothing worse than inconsistency when training your pup.

Sleeping quarters: Another important decision is the location of your puppy's bed. If your pup is cratetrained, decide where its crate will be located at night when the family is sleeping. Puppies feel most secure when they sleep in the same room with a human, so placing the crate in your bedroom or in one of the kids' rooms is the best idea.

If you do not plan to cratetrain your puppy, pick a confined place where it can spend the night. For your puppy's peace of mind, this should be a bedroom where someone is sleeping so your puppy doesn't get lonely and cry all night long.

Unless you want to have a full grown dog sleeping in your bed with you a year from now, don't get in the habit of letting your puppy sleep with you in bed. Once it learns how comfortable a human bed can be, you'll never break it of the habit.

Safety rules: In order to ensure that your puppy will be safe from harm, all family members must be conscious of puppyproofing and security. Make sure that electrical wires and other harmful objects or substances are out of puppy's reach in every room where it is allowed. Items such as toys and clothing should also be kept out of the puppy's reach. Make certain that everyone understands the need to keep gates closed and doors shut. It's easy for a puppy to slip out through an open gate or door, and it can be hit by a car, be stolen, or simply get lostall it takes is one open door.

Next Step: Puppy Rules

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