When it comes to your puppy’s safety, it is of the utmost importance with any dog, and especially your extra curious puppy that you always err on the side of caution. We recommend to always assume that ANY flowers, chocolate, or other items small enough to chew on or rip up and swallow can be dangerous. Let’s first talk about management strategies for when you are away or out of sight, and then we will discuss what obedience you can start teaching your puppy for when you are home.
- Always have your puppy put away in a crate or a “puppy proofed” space before you leave the home or go out of sight. Even just to the shower or to the mailbox.
Remember: It only takes a few seconds for your puppy to ingest something they shouldn’t.
- When you are home with your puppy, have them drag a leash and in sight at all times. This ensures they can’t sneak away and get into anything you don’t want them to
- Give your puppy plenty of options to chew on. We recommend hard toys that they can’t rip up and swallow such as kongs, antlers, cow bones, etc. At least 8-10 scattered around the floor in easy access for them
- If you are having a hard time keeping your puppy in sight and want to give them just a little more freedom than a tether has to offer, we highly recommend getting an exercise pen! We call this a “yes” space and you know they are safe within their enclosed area and can have access to lots of fun toys.
- Even if you are home, be sure to place ANY and ALL ingestible items up and out of reach of your puppy. Even something as simple as a loose sock could cause an unwanted trip to the ER.
Obedience and Behavior Modification for Safety
When it comes to your puppy, are you wondering at what age you should get started? CFO, Sean Savage CDBC, CPDT-KA talks you through our recommendations in a vlog here. Below are the safety basics we recommend to get started with.
Teaching your puppy a “place” command by giving them a bed or cot to hang out on can be a great way to keep your puppy in sight and safe.
Trainer tip: Offer your puppy a Kong filled with paste that will take them some time to work on while they lay on their bed. This will encourage them to stay on it!
“Leave it” is a great command to start working on from an early age for those “just in case” moments they get into something they shouldn’t be.
Although “come” won’t stop them from getting into things in the first place, having solid name recognition and a recall command when established with lots of positive reinforcement could truly be a life saver in some cases. We recommend starting this as soon as possible.
Start easy with teaching a “threshold” wait, which just means (don’t move forward). Placing threshold boundaries in areas such as the kitchen entry and at doors can help prevent your puppy into anything they shouldn’t be and will keep them a safe distance if something gets dropped while you’re cooking versus them being at your feet ready for any crumbs to come their way.
Counter Surfing Exercises
Practicing set-ups with your puppy on not jumping on the counter for treats by reinforcing appropriate behavior (anything that isn’t jumping up on the table, sits, downs, place, etc.) around tables and counters will give you a great start on establishing “table manners”. If your puppy is dragging a leash, when the jump up simply say “uhuhuh” grab the leash and gently pull them away from the table. Always try to recreate the scenario again if safe and possible to give them a chance to be successful.
Appropriate Toys for Puppies
Always have PLENTY (around 8-10) appropriate and safe toys out for your puppy in their immediate access at all times. Check out this vlog by our very own Sean Savage, CDBC, CPDT-KA that talks about play biting and chewing, and then this vlog led by Beyond the Dog’s CEO and Owner, Dr. Kristyn Echterling-Savage where she details what toys we recommend the most.
If after reading this blog, you are interested in learning more management and additional obedience that can take your puppy’s training to the next level, contact us here. We would love to hear from you and wish you the best on your newest adventure!