Puppy training should always start as soon as you bring that little guy (or girl) home with you.
And because the puppy will have to live inside your house, establishing house rules must start within the first few days. Which elements of those rules should you consider first above all others?
Don’t Give Scraps at the Dinner Table
This can grow into a major problem in a household with dogs. While some let this go and cave into feeding their dogs food scraps during meals, it’s best not to feed them that way. It ultimately can lead to a lifetime of digestion issues or begging for food whenever you sit at the table for dinner. In some cases, it could even eventually lead to the puppy stealing food (without collusion from other household pets).
Many people find it hard to resist not having their puppy be in bed with them or other family members. But doing this regularly without giving the puppy his own bed on the floor can give the impression that he or she can be the master of the house. Providing a specific sleeping area for your puppy on the first night your puppy sleeps in your house immediately establishes an important house rule. You are his leader.
This isn’t to say that your dog can’t jump up onto your bed when invited, as long as he knows he’ll have to go back to his own bed eventually.
Pick Rooms That Are Off Limits
You may not want your puppy in certain rooms of your house for various reasons. Some of those rooms may be for guests. Or, perhaps it’s the kitchen to avoid the temptation of food.
Using a dragline and establishing the meaning of the word “no” when it comes to teaching your puppy not to enter a certain room and consistency in boundaries will keep rooms off limits when your puppy grows up. Also, establishing visual barriers or simply keeping the door closed to those rooms will signal that your puppy can’t go in there.
The most important aspect of starting house rules with puppies is making sure every family member sticks to the plan. If other family members give your puppy food scraps, allows them in bed or other rooms, then the puppy won’t understand right from wrong. A daily routine of these simple house rules sets your puppy on a fast road to understanding how things work.