I let puppies be puppies. Developmentally they need to do puppy things, and puppy things are often times super cute, or painful, depending on if it is a cute thing or a teething thing. But I do have ONE rule for all of my puppies, and I mean it!
Before I implement my ONE rule, I do have specific obligations as my puppies handler and caretaker, these are my responsibilities first and foremost.
I manage space with gating, x-pens, fencing in the yard, and yard gates. My puppy is always in a manged space, with legal things to chew on.
My puppy is always on a harness and leash when we are outside of a fenced area.
I buy and make my puppies food so it’s as nutritious and as biologically appropriate as possible. I feed my puppy 3-4 times per day and use this as a bonding and relationship time.
I always have legal things for my puppy to chew on, and this is in the 100’s! I buy in bulk as I consider it cheap insurance for saving my own body parts from damage during heavy teething days.
I buy interesting toys to play with my puppy, and I also consider these relationship building tools. They are not left out for permissive play but rather toys we use together, as a new Team.
I take my puppy out for short and successful socialization walks, or outings to stores. Five minutes minimum a day.
I make sure that when my puppy wakes up we go outside to potty. I make sure that after she drinks or eats we go outside to potty. I make sure that if she has been active in the house for more than twenty minutes we go outside to potty.
I make sure my older dogs have space away from our puppy if she is getting wound up, and they aren’t liking it. My older dogs have to know that I have their backs when the flesh mongering cute ball of whirling puppy fur is on the loose.
I practice itty bitty tiny parts of lots of tricks each and every day so I create a puppy who enjoys learning, and wants to step out with me and learn more as she grows.
I practice putting my puppies collar and harness on each day, just for practice, so she likes it.
I put my puppy in the tub and rinse her feet off everyday, so she likes it, because once mud month is here, I don’t want the tub and water to surprise her, I want this to be normal.
I let my puppy meet nice people and nice puppies, and socialize kindly and considerately.
I pick my puppy up if I feel a person or another dog is too much, and walk on by. My puppy needs to know that I make safe choices for our Team.
I play music and use household appliances so my puppy gets use to life as we know it, slowly, step by baby step.
I handle my puppy and let her know that all human hands are safe.
I know that my puppy is not a puppy for very long, and in a blink I will have an adolescent and all that comes with it, so I am stacking the cards in my favor that we have a good relationship based on love and trust, and fun early morning garden times!!!
So the ONE rule I have for my puppy is, ‘don’t, under any circumstance, burn the house down’.