Friday, February 26, 2010

Puppy Preparations

Very soon our new puppy Jet will be coming to live with us. So Jenn is preparing the house for our new family member. There are several things that every perspective puppy parent can do to set your new puppy up for success BEFORE your puppy comes home with you. The most important things are having a crate, puppy proofing, and having appropriate toys and chews.

1. Crate-Probably the most important thing that you can have for successful puppy management is a crate. A crate is where your puppy will sleep and where the puppy will be when you can't be supervising. The crate keeps your puppy contained so he can't get into mischief while you aren't watching and it really helps keep your puppy from using the whole house as his own toilet. And dogs love a safe, quiet place that is just for them. You can get a wire crate like this one...Or a plastic crate like this one...You can make your puppy really love the crate by feeding meals in it and always having special toys in it. You can learn more about crate training by clicking here.

2. Puppy Proofing-Next on your agenda is organizing your home so that your puppy does not have access to things that do not belong to them, things that could hurt your puppy, etc. If this is your house, we have a problem...At first, your puppy will assume that everything on his/her level will belong to them. You can help your puppy by putting your stuff up, up and away. Put shoes in the closet and shut the closet door, get remote controls and cell phones off coffee tables, get plants, particularly those that could make your puppy sick, out of the puppy's area, and secure electrical cords so that puppy can't get to them. If there are any items that your puppy could chew or swallow that could hurt them, put them out of puppy's reach.

If you have children, it is really important that you help your puppy understand the difference between kid toys and puppy toys. It is really hard to tell the difference sometimes! Is this a baby toy or a puppy toy?? You tell me-I have no idea...

You have to help us figure this stuff out!! A really smart thing to do, is of course, keep the kid's toys out of puppy's reach. But you can also use taste deterrent to help puppy learn that kid's toys taste bad, but puppy's toys taste good. Spray a product like Bitter Apple on all the kid toys and all the things you don't want puppy to put their mouth on.

But really, a clean, organized house is going to go a long way in helping your pup be safe and successful.

3. Toys/Chews-We really have to mention the importance of having proper puppy toys and chews. Your puppy is going to chew on something, so if you don't want it to be your stuff that gets chewed, you need to be equipped with puppy toys from the get-go. Dr. Ian Dunbar suggests getting your puppy addicted to chew toys early so that we don't be addicted to chewing other things, like shoes. A great toy to have on hand for your new puppy is a Kong. Kongs come is different shapes and sizes and you fill them with your puppy's meals. They even make special Puppy Kongs that look like this...There is a new line of Busy Buddies that Jenn is going to get for Jet. They are designed to fill with food and keep puppies thinking. I have all the Busy Buddies adult dog toys and they are some of my favorites.