If you give Scruffy the run of the house, don't be surprised if your home ends up in shambles. Your puppy's curious, playful and adventurous nature might have him use your couch pillows as chew toys and your bed as his potty. Additionally, your pet companion has no clue about the dangers lurking throughout the house. While your puppy learns good manners, confine him to one area of the house. It'll keep him safe and give you peace of mind.
If you think confining Scruffy to a crate is cruel, think again. Dogs are den animals by nature and enjoy the safety and security of having their own space. Additionally, he won't be able to destroy your home. The crate can also help to housebreak your puppy, because dogs dislike soiling areas where they sleep. Provide a crate that's big enough so Scruffy can lie down and stand upright. Avoid lengthy confinement -- for pups up to 7 months of age, take their age in months and add one hour for the maximum time they can go without a potty break.
Creating a puppy room is another way to confine Scruffy. Choose a room with easy-to-clean, hard flooring and barricade it with a baby gate. Ensure the room is safe -- remove potential hazards, such as cleaning products, plants and electrical cords. Cover the floor with newspapers and put your pup's crate and some dog toys in the room also. Once you determine where Scruffy goes potty, spread the newspapers only in this area of the room. When you're ready, wean your pup off the newspapers by slowly moving them toward the door and eventually outside.
Even if Scruffy is not in his crate or puppy room, keeping him near you is essential during puppyhood when he's still learning to find his way around and master the housebreaking process. Tether your pet companion to you with a 6-foot leash so you can observe him consistently. Watch for signs, such as sniffing and circling, which might indicate he has to go potty. Immediately take him to his designated potty area and tell him "go potty." As his potty training progresses, lengthen the leash to give Scruffy more freedom to explore.
Proper confinement and supervision don't mean that accidents won't happen. When you find a potty accident on the floor, clean it with an enzymatic cleanser and avoid scolding and yelling at Scruffy, because this might make him fear you. If you catch him eliminating in the house or chewing on your couch pillows, shake a can of coins to startle him and stop him in his tracks. Then bring him to his potty area or redirect him to an appropriate activity.
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