Keeping Puppy Fun for Everyone
The entire family is filled with excitement as the new puppy arrives. The box lid is opened and everyone tries to look inside at the same time. The teenager lifts the puppy gently and cuddles it tenderly. The five year old jumps up and down, barely containing her excitement. The toddler, fascinated, reaches to touch the puppy. Everyone is filled with a sense of awe and anticipation.
The first few weeks go smoothly, but then problems begin. Sharp puppy teeth tear a favorite pair of jeans. Doll houses and half chewed toys lie strewn across the play room. Toddler constantly looks behind, feeling stalked.
Keeping puppy fun for the whole family is about setting limits -- not only for puppy, but for everyone. Puppy needs a secure closed off area or crate where it can chew and chase toys. Puppy craves affection and needs to learn to accept petting and praise without jumping or nipping. Puppy needs to know it can't treat Toddler like a puppy toy.
Children need to understand that playing with rapid movements or squealing will excite puppy to chase and nip. Favorite clothing and toys will have to be picked up and placed out of puppy's reach. Playfully interactions between toddler and puppy will need to be supervised.
As puppy matures she can be given more freedom. By setting clear limits for puppy, the entire family can help her to learn and to thrive - "keeping puppy fun for everyone".Noel Pepin -- Noel Pepin Canine Behaviour Specialists