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Rules of the Household
A dog must not control the household in any manner. Rules need to be established and followed consistently by all family members and visitors to the home. This is especially true for puppies. It is most important for puppies for toilet training and safety purposes, in addition to setting the hierarchy within the home. Dog are opportunists and puppies are no exception, as shaping your puppy's behaviour will be counter-productive if there are no rules and leadership elsewhere in its life.
Please read our link on Leadership and know that a puppy with clear leadership and boundaries is a settled puppy that matures into a well adjusted adult dog. Puppies, or dogs without, often display erratic, unmanageable behaviour.
If you find this hard to believe, here is a simple test for dog owners, or owners of out-of-control puppies: If your dog is highly distracted and showing any signs of aggressive behaviour, observe the behaviour without attempting to get your dog's attention.
Example Household Rules
- Establish a bed for you puppy and teach your puppy that this is their space. Send the puppy to the space throughout the day and reward. Having a send-away space helps control and calm, and provides clear instruction as to what is expected.
- Invite your puppy to you, instead of going to the puppy. Teach them that coming to you is rewarding and prevents them from relying, or expecting you to cater to them.
- Do not coddle your puppy - most especially guarding breeds!!! Provide attention on your terms only and leave your puppy wanting just a little more. Also know that excess coddling may invite separation anxiety and aggressive tendencies.
- Teach your puppy simple command words such as "sit", "wait" and "leave", and use these words to manage behaviour both in and outside the home. Have the puppy sit for every meal, before affixing its lead, before entering and exiting a door.