My Number One Rule For My Puppy

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’.




10 Comments Add yours

  1. sanseilife says:

    Oh! I want to be a puppy at your house!!

  2. Nikki Brown says:

    Such a lucky puppy!

  3. zoephee says:

    These are amazing tips! I’m going to share!

  4. anna says:

    If the puppy does manage to burn the house down ….. do you ignore the matches in it’s paws and then praise once it drops them? Praise pup for each succesful day ending with the house still standing? Keep all matches, flints, pilot lights, magnifying glasses, etc outside of the managed space? Use parental controls on the tv to ban that Christmas show of a yule log burning, and burning, and burning? Is it taught by backchaining?

    Is there a command “I’ll be back soon, don’t burn the house down”?

    1. Sue Meulemeester says:

      Thanks for the chuckle Anna!

  5. maggielandry says:

    Love this! Wish I knew this when my Teddy Bear was a puppy! Frozen perogies by the way are what I sometimes used for those painful, for both of us, teething episodes.

  6. Kelli Alseth says:

    Wonderful article and great advice for raising a puppy OR introducing an older dog into a new household pack!

  7. Sally Bradbury says:

    Reminds me of the time a friend’s dog actually woke them in the night and probably saved their lives because the house was on fire. When I enthused about their amazing dog she told me it was actually her that had started the fire by jumping up on the gas hob, pressing and igniting the burner and pulling a towel down onto it.

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