If you have a puppy you may notice that they’re constantly exploring their environment and putting things in their mouth. It’s really similar to having a young child. It’s important that they do get to safely explore, but it doesn’t have to happen all the time. This is where management comes into play. Here are some ways to manage to make life with a puppy a bit more, well, manageable! 1. Crate training- A crate is a great way to prevent your pup from getting into trouble. This can be used when you leave the house, but can also be used when you’re trying to get some things done. To make it enjoyable for your pup, stick them in it and give them something fun to work on that they don’t normally get. (A stuffed Kong, bully stick etc.) Some pups are easier to crate train than others. If there is any panicking, this will need to be broken down into steps. If there is some minor whining, go ahead and ignore it and it should stop and is unlikely to continue as you get into the routine. You may already be using it in certain instances and that can make this easier.
If there is any panicking, this will need to be broken down into steps.
An additional perk of the crate is that most will not eliminate in the crate as long as there isn’t space to do so in it and also space to escape it if it does happen. Of course, that’s assuming that they’re not left in it for an unreasonable amount of time. 2. Tethering- You can actually tether your pup to you or to something near you. To set them up for success, make sure they were taken out to eliminate beforehand and give them lots of different things to work on so they’ve got appropriate options. Be aware that the tether used may also become a chew item. I would recommend using a cheap leash and if it’s chewed through, reconnect it by tying it in a knot. No need to buy leash after leash! And also, anything within reach may be of interest to your pup. So look around the tether area and make sure there isn’t anything fun that you don’t want to actually be fun. 3. Dragging a leash- It won’t take long before your puppy is faster than you. Also, puppies are obviously pretty small and can get into places that we cannot. Having your pup drag a leash (while supervised!) is a great way to be able to grab them quickly to prevent them from getting into trouble. We recommend using a shorter one inside and a longer one outside. The more often your pup drags a leash the less interesting the leash will be and this will lead to less leash chewing.
Having your pup drag a leash (while supervised!) is a great way to be able to grab them quickly to prevent them from getting into trouble.
4. A play pen- If I had a puppy, I would have a play pen set up where I spend most of my time. Doing so makes having a puppy much less labor intensive. When they’re in the pen, you don’t have to worry about them wandering off and getting into trouble. When setting up a pen, make sure it’s on a hard surface that won’t be damaged by accidents. Carpet is obviously absorbent but can also be fun to chew. Just like the other options mentioned above, fill the pen with a few toys and have some extras on hand so you can rotate them to make them feel like new. A play pen is also a great option for anyone with a puppy that needs to be gone at work for 8 plus hours. Within the pen you can leave water and a pad to eliminate on. (I generally don’t like pee pads unless that’s your long term goal but it’s unrealistic to expect an 8 week old puppy to hold its bladder and BM for an entire day.)
In closing, having a puppy is a lot of fun but a lot of work. Using these ideas can make it easier when you cannot directly supervise your pup. Managing for a few hours a day is absolutely fine. Just be sure to get your pup out for daily socialization!