I’ve recently been in the fortunate and unfortunate position of getting a new puppy. The enjoyment you receive from their goofy amusing actions as well as the amount of unconditional love they provide to your whole family is an amazing feeling. But you also need to remember that all puppies also come with their problems.
Some of the problems you might face with your new furry family member include peeing and pooping inside your house, barking all through the night, chewing on your furniture, clothes, and shoes, and digging in your back yard, just to name a few. For the first month, it really pays to be vigilant and to teach your puppy what’s acceptable and what’s not.
There are many ways to train and discipline your puppy, and if you ask around everyone will act as an expert. At the end of the day, you should just do what works for you and fits in with your lifestyle. Just remember that if you invest more time when the puppy is young and impressionable then you will benefit more so as the dog gets older. The age-old saying you can’t teach an old dog new tricks comes to mind here.
Training aside there are many nifty tools that can help you avoid some of the mishaps that come with having a puppy, which is listed below.
Puppy Training pads – designed to be the modern-day equivalent of laying down a floor of newspaper, these absorbent sheets are great to put down and use as an aid during the toilet training stage. They are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased in various quantities. A word of advice is to not buy these in bulk. Get 10 or so and find out if your puppy will use them. Otherwise, you might just end up with shredded puppy pads everywhere inside your house… and your dog still doing its business on the floor.
Dog fencing – There are many various types of “puppy proof fencing” designed specifically for either indoor use or outdoor use. I strongly recommend you don’t spend too much money on these items. The expensive ones will often perform just as well as the cheap ones, and many dogs will easily outgrow these barriers within a few months. In fact, some dogs view this as a challenge or a type of puzzle, with the reward being getting access to you, their owner. Things to consider here are where you will use it, how high it is, how rigid it is, is there a gap between the bars your puppy can just slip through?
Digging up the lawn – Most dogs love to dig, it’s in their instinct. Sometimes this doesn’t always suit us, especially if you have a nice garden or underground irrigation installed. A bit of planning ahead here is golden. If you can provide an area where they are allowed to dig and reward them when they go there that’s great. To avoid muddy paws you can make this area a sandpit. If you want other areas of your yard to avoid the wear and tear of constant little paws you can consider dog grass. There are actually now some amazing-looking products that actually look extremely similar to natural grass. The only real difference is it’s still green, with no holes from where your dog has dug up the ground, or brown patches from urine stains on the lawn. Add in all the other benefits of no more watering, pesticides, mowing, or weeding and you’ll find that this soon will be a great idea!