“Uh-oh,” I said when I saw that my first puppy had chewed a treasured photo album.
“Oh NO!” I yelled, when I saw that she’d chewed a corner of my Bokhara rug!
Anyone who has raised puppies quickly learns how to puppy proof. Electrical cords, furniture, rugs, books, TV remotes, and more. Anything that’s eye level for a curious puppy exploring its new world needs to be put away or situated out of reach. It only takes a split second of non-attention for an item to be grabbed.
On January 10th I will be bringing my 8 week old puppy home, so it’s time to think about puppy proofing my family room where she will be living these first few weeks. I will survey the room and remove all loose and accessible items that may temp the puppy to steal. I will have a wide variety of toys and chew items available since puppies get bored so easily and love to move from one item to the next. Because of my therapy dog work, my dogs have been gifted with many toys, so I will not need to purchase anything.
Fortunately, I have a tile floor in the family room and no area rugs to remove. Certainly, it’s very easy to clean up accidents should the puppy have them.
I have 2 puppy collars which belonged to Hannah and Heidi, and I also have several leashes, including a 15 foot long leash should I feel the need to use that.
A life-stages crate will be set up with a movable divider which will increase the amount of available space as the puppy grows. Crates are critical and such a useful tool for training puppies. Not only are they wonderful for housebreaking, crates keep puppies safe when they cannot be supervised. I also use the crate as part of my calming training and to nurture a happy and relaxed puppy that will not grow up to have separation anxiety issues. Crates are far from abusive. Dogs LOVE enclosed spaces and come to seek out their secure, quiet, den-like environment.
I have several gates and barriers to confine the puppy to the family room. The puppy will only be allowed a wider range of freedom as she matures and can be under visual observation.
Along with all the physical preparations comes the mental preparation. Having a puppy is labor intensive and exhausting. With my first puppy I learned that keeping a log the first few weeks really helped me to quickly see a routine. While it’s important to be aware of the puppy’s routine, it is also imperative that the puppy settle in and adapt to MY routine.
5 more days of waiting.
Stay tuned . . .