Training is essential, but management is key and often overlooked. Trust us when we say it will make raising a puppy easier! Follow these puppy management tips for effective training.
What is management?
Management is setting up and controlling the environment to prevent undesirable behaviors, for example, picking up shoes so your new puppy doesn’t chew them. We don’t expect infants or toddlers to stay out of trouble or danger, so why should we with puppies? When it comes to children, we are all well-versed in environmental management, such as baby gates and cabinet locks. We can easily apply these same practices with our puppies.
Why management is so crucial for puppies?
The more chances a dog or puppy has to practice or rehearse a behavior, the more likely they will repeat that behavior in the future. By preventing our puppies from chewing on shoes by keeping shoes put away out of reach, they are less likely to make a habit out of it.
Second, it helps keep our puppies safe. Just like a tiny human slowly crawling around, grabbing things with their hands, and trying to explore the world, puppies will do the same… only at top speeds and with lots of sharp teeth! A puppy only takes a few seconds to grab an electric cord and chew through it.
Lastly, it gives you peace of mind and a moment to relax. Raising puppies is a lot of work and can be stressful. Putting them in a safe, managed environment for a little while will allow some normalcy back into your life.
Our favorite management tools for raising puppies!
- A puppy zone: Just like a playpen for babies, an exercise pen or contained puppy-proof zone offers a place for a puppy to stretch their legs and play. It will keep furniture safe from puppy mouths, especially during teething. It also gives them a space to hang out while you’re home that doesn’t require your undivided attention—allowing puppies to learn that they don’t need your attention 24/7 and to entertain themselves while you are nearby. A puppy zone should include a comfy area to sleep, puppy-safe toys or chews, and access to water. Ideal places to set up the puppy zone are higher-traffic areas in your home. Exposing the puppy to the sights, sounds, and regular going ons in the household. A kitchen or living room are great options for setting up a puppy zone. As shown above, you can protect your floors and simplify cleanup by purchasing affordable remnant sheet vinyl flooring from your local hardware store for your puppy zone.
- Crate: A crate is a suitable sleeping place for puppies but not a suitable place for them to spend eight hours while you’re at work. You can even set up a crate in a puppy zone and leave the door open. Puppies will often put themselves to sleep in the crate if given the option!
- Baby gates: Baby gates are a great option to help contain your puppy and keep them from venturing into rooms they should not.
- Metal-mounted water bowl: A metal-mounted water bowl is on the side of the kennel or puppy zone so puppies cannot flip the bowl and spill water everywhere.
- Pee pads: Puppies potty a lot, especially in the first 4-5 months. Pee pad training makes cleaning up after puppies much easier.
By taking these steps, you can help your puppy learn good behaviors! Using management to prevent unwanted puppy behavior will make life easier with your new furry friend.
Stay tuned for the next installment of our Puppy Survival Guide series, where we’ll explore meeting the needs of puppies. Remember, puppies’ natural curiosity and love of play can lead to destructive behaviors if unsupervised.