Allowing your new dog or puppy the run of the house is asking for trouble. He might resort to destroying your furniture, and potty accidents will be a dime a dozen. Rather than setting your pet companion up for failure, confine him to a room so he can gradually adjust to his new surroundings. If you think that confinement is mean and cruel, think again -- it keeps your dog safe, promotes house training and prevents your furniture from getting destroyed. It also comes in handy when you can't watch your dog or when you want to keep him away from visitors in your home.
Items You'll Need:
• Baby gate or dog pen
• Childproof locks
• Wire sleeves
• Dog bed or crate
• Puppy pad or newspapers
• Water bowl
• Dog toys
Step #1 - Select a small room of the house that has easy-to-clean, hard flooring. The bathroom or kitchen might work well. There should be enough room for a sleeping, potty and playing area. If the room doesn't have a door, close the entrance with a baby gate. Alternatively, place a dog pen in the room.
Step #2 - Dog-proof the room to ensure your pet companion's safety. Store soaps, lotions, cleaning supplies and other potentially dangerous chemicals out of your dog's reach. Place childproof locks on cabinets so your dog can't get in them. Move plants and furniture out of the room and cover electrical cords with metal wire sleeves or move them out of your dog's reach. If you have doubts whether an item is safe or not, remove it -- it's better to be safe than sorry.
Step #3 - Decorate your dog's room. Place a dog bed or crate on one end of the room so your dog has a place to rest. If your dog isn't housebroken, put a puppy pad or several layers of newspapers on the other end of the room. Provide a bowl of water to drink and dog toys including chew toys and a food-stuffed dog toy to keep your dog entertained while confined.
Step #4 - Take your dog outside to go potty before containing him in the room, especially if you're leaving him for a long period or if he's not housebroken. Play a game of fetch with him so he can run and burn some energy. Exercise relaxes him, and if he's tired he might decide to nap while contained.
Step #5 - Put him in the room, making sure to point out the toys to him. Leave him alone for five minutes and don't go to him if he starts whining or barking, because otherwise you're teaching him that his noisy behavior gets your attention and he'll continue it. Only go to him when he's not acting up.
Step #6 - Increase the length of time you leave your pet companion alone in the small room. Confine him several times a day during the training period. Once he successfully manages to be alone for five minutes, increase it to 10 minutes. Once he manages this, increase it to 15 minutes and so forth.
By Kimberly Caines
About the Author
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.