Puppy Proofing Your Home

Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs

Puppy Proofing Your Home

The simplest technique for puppy-proofing your home is to go about it the same way you would make your home safe for a young child, except pay closer attention to items that a puppy can chew or scratch. Consider anything left on the floor or within reach of the puppy “fair game”. If you take a minute to look around your house, you should immediately see items that a young dog can chew-on / destroy, or even worse, be harmed by. If you have not owned a puppy before, get down on your hands and knees and view your home from the puppy’s vantage point. Electrical cords, cabinet corners, carpeting, and shoes lying around are all in plain view of your new companion.

When left alone, even for a few short minutes, a young puppy with his razor sharp teeth can ruin or destroy furniture, carpet, etc. It only takes a single chew on a lamp cord to harm and electrocute a small dog. All the puppy-proofing in the world is no substitute for keeping a close eye on your young canine while he is learning the difference between right and wrong.

The simplest technique to teach a young dog what he is allowed to chew and what he isn’t is to issue a stern “NO” command and then replace the item he is chewing with an acceptable item. During this period, the puppy will be drilled many times on the “NO” command. It is very important to apply praise when you get the desired change in behavior. Make sure you have hard chew toys or rawhide handy when your puppy is loose so you can quickly make the correction and stop the undesirable behavior. Soon he will realize that he can only chew on the items you give him. Be consistent in your approach. Don’t allow him to chew on one pair of sneakers and not another, that is sending mixed signals to the dog that will prolong the process.

One final point, if you are unable to watch your puppy it’s a good idea to confine him in an area where he cannot get into trouble. Fence off a part of the house where the puppy cannot get into trouble or better yet, use a crate to confine your young canine. If choosing to crate your dog, make sure you pick the proper size so he is comfortable. A crate that is too large will offer a puppy an opportunity to soil one area and lay down in the other.

Points to remember:
  • Keep objects small enough for your dog to choke on, off the floor (such as coins, hardware, etc.).
  • Electric cords should be tucked behind furniture or encased to prevent electrocution as a result of chewing.
  • Keep cabinets that contain cleaning agents secured.
  • Pick up after yourself (shoes, socks, etc.).
  • Be consistent with what you allow him/her to chew.
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