If there is one thing that I do in my house that I don’t see other people doing as much is management!
If I have a young puppy in the house, I do LOTS of management.
What I mean by that, is that I make heavy use of crates, baby gates, and play pens (also called exercise pens).
So, I’ll baby gate off key spaces in my house, and use those gates to keep the puppy with me in puppy-proof areas.
For example, I’ll gate off the kitchen. That way, if I’m cooking, I don’t have to worry about the puppy running off down the hallway where I can’t see him and doing something that I don’t want him to do.
The gates also keep the puppy completely out of nicer parts of my house, like my dining room. Only when he is fully trained will he have access to that space.
If I need to bring him into a not puppy-proofed area, I will put him on a leash. Some people also really like tethers, so they can tether the puppy to the ground near where they will be. A tether is just a leash or plastic-coated wire attached to a sturdy piece of furniture or the wall.
Good management does so many things:
It develops self-confident puppies.
Since they are always in puppy-proof areas, they hear “no” a lot less. This makes for puppies who are more environmentally confident, and more willing to do new things.
If you don’t use management and your puppy is told “no” often when he is exploring your house, he may become anxious about different areas of your home or worst of all anxious of you because you are frequently correcting him.
It makes puppy ownership easier.
And, let’s face it! Anything that can make our lives a bit easier is so worth it. Instead of having to follow your puppy around the house to make sure he doesn’t get into mischief, you will be able to just live your life knowing your puppy is in a safe, puppy-proof environment.
Your puppy will not develop bad habits like chewing on your shoes or peeing in the living room.
If your puppy only has access to puppy-proof areas of the house, he won’t develop bad habits like chewing shoes, “stealing”, counter surfing, and peeing on your carpet.
For example, puppies who “steal” items develop this habit because they are not well-managed. A puppy in a home with no baby gates, crates, or play pens will inevitably pick up something he shouldn’t, like a sock. The diligent owner immediately jumps up and takes the sock from the puppy. The puppy then goes “ah ha! That sock must be really valuable!” This only entices the puppy to pick up socks more often. Quickly thereafter, the puppy learns that the owner will chase him for a sock. And, every puppy LOVES a good game of keep away!
The owner unintentionally trained the puppy to find socks and play keep away with them.
Let me know in the comments if you are doing this already! Also, let me know if you have any specific tricks or tips for managing your puppy!