Wednesday, April 21, 2010


This morning I helped a family set some boundaries with their young puppy. Their puppy was feeling just a bit full of himself and he needed a quick dose of reality. The reality for the puppy is that he is in fact NOT superdog, or the ruler of the universe, or the king of the castle, or the leader of the pack. He is in fact a very small puppy and has absolutely no super powers whatsoever. Thankfully the family thought to contact me very early on and within 15 minutes, the puppy was back on track. One of the biggest mistake families make with a brand new puppy is forgetting to set limits, boundaries and restrictions. Puppies are just so gosh darn cute that sometimes it becomes quite simple to forgive them of their silly antics. It is easy to say "Awwwww but look how precious he is!!"" Families become very wrapped up in just how cute and adorable and snuggable their puppy is, they forget that the puppy needs rules and it is never too early to start. I think the easiest way to think about exactly which restrictions and boundaries need to be in place is to imagine your puppy as MUCH bigger. Think of your puppy as a big 50lb doggie instead of a 6-8lb baby. Then ask the behavior my puppy is doing right now something that I would enjoy when my puppy is fully grown?? If the answer is NO - then do not let your puppy do those things when it is little. If you don't particularly enjoy being greeted at the door by a big 50+lb doggie jumping on you and putting his big goofy paws on your shoulders to say "HELLO I MISSED YOU AND I THINK YOUR WHITE JACKET LOOKS AWESOME WITH MY BIG PAWPRINTS ON IT!!!" Well then even when your puppy is little and tiny and oh so adorable...don't let your puppy jump up to greet you. Make your puppy sit with all four paws on the ground before you give it love and affection. It is so much easier to prevent bad behavior from ever happening than to break a bad habit. So start early! :) It is really easy to start your puppy off on the right path. Puppies really respond well to boundaries and limitations. They will still love you with all their heart....maybe even love you a little bit more because they know that you are the boss and you are there to take care of them always.

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