Preparing your home for a pup
There are a lot of things you should do, could do and won’t do, but I am going to run through some things I think are essential for a puppy coming into your life.
The first is where will pup live? Inside or outside? Where will the puppy sleep?
At the end of the day it is not my home or pup, but my choice is to have the pup with me as much as possible, this includes in doors.
I am not a solid believer in puppy proofing the home with puppy gates etc, I find these have the greatest effect on people, not dogs. I also don’t feel that giving the dogs the run of the house is a good idea. It leads to poor structure and limits and it very rarely works out well.
If I came to stay at your home for a night, think of the four rules you would set me when I arrived:
- This is where you sleep
- This is where you eat
- This is where you go to the toilet
- This is where / when we socialise / play
Now I am confident I could figure these out myself but it is the home owner’s way of setting structure and giving guidance. These rules and others are essential for a dog to respect.
Having that said, I would advise you to set up a dog crate in the main living space of your home if you’re going to have your dog inside, this will aid in toilet training, reduce the amount of your belongings the pup will chew and also teaches the dog structure. At this stage of the program, the crate is in your home becoming the same scent as your home.
I also feel that using a puppy pen inside your home that can be moved outside is also a good decision, there are many times when you will want the puppy to be able to play but not get into something or under your feet. Puppy pens are perfect for this and take little training.
The first thing I would do is check any and or all plants with your nearest nursery for toxicity to dogs. Some plants, whilst they look great can be highly poisonous to dogs and will kill a puppy in four hours.
Even if you have a dog living with you now, make sure any plant the pup will have access to are not toxic. Here is one page that can help http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants/
Check fences thoroughly, mainly at ground level, pups can dig too and will do if they feel that there is something interesting on the other side. A pup that gets out is a pup in danger.
If you have a pond, you may need to restrict access to it; the pup will end up in it and may drown. Water bowls must be low enough for pup to drink from but not drown in, so need to be shallow. Puppies drown in buckets of water as they climb in to see their reflection and fall in and can’t get out. This is why we use a shallow bowl.
Citronella candles, pool chemicals, fertilizers, rodent baits, you name it, pup will eat it.
Electrical cords, washing, clothes, hoses, gravel, herbs, other animals, bedding etc.
Be aware that a puppy has no self survival instincts and will generally just go headlong into just about anything. Some rules I have:-
If the puppy is loose my car does not move.
If there is a high place in which the pup can fall, it will, block it off.
If there is a pool, the pup will fall in it.
Electrical cords will get chewed.
Finally, check your yard every day, just because the pup survives one day and hasn’t escaped is not a guarantee.
INSIDE YOUR HOME…
I recommend setting up a dog crate and a puppy pen, we have a program that will cover crate training puppies that comes with this module but the premise is that, when you’re not playing with pup, I would guide your pup to the crate or puppy pen.
Inside the crate I recommend no bedding for the first 4 weeks. Pups can get tangled and choke or will just chew the bed.
Instead of keeping everything up high and letting your pup run around the home, the crate and pen gives your pup a place of his or her own to rest when they need to, and not destroy any of your belongings.
This is a much more feasible way to raise a pup vs. eternal and consistent vigilance.
There are three places the puppy can be when inside the home.
- The crate resting / sleeping
- The Puppy Pen playing alone with his or her toys
- With me, learning, playing etc
I won’t spend every moment with the pup I am home, this isn’t a reasonable habit to develop, at some stage you will leave the pup, may as well get that cleared up now.
Dogs are my life so I have a crate set up in the main place I live in the house, if that is the lounge room, so be it. The puppy pen is near that but the two are not attached in any way.
The exception to the location of the crate is for the first week or as required. The first night you will see in my plan that I put the crate in a location where if the puppy screams I won’t be woken by it. There won’t be any chance for me to attend the pup then to see what is the matter.
I cover how to achieve this in the first day schedule. The crate is moved back to the living space each morning.