Raising a puppy is much like raising a toddler -- both need constant supervision and must learn right from wrong. If your pet companion enjoys pulling your clothes off the washing line, you probably don't appreciate his helpfulness. Yelling at him after the damage is done is ineffective -- your puppy won't know what you're upset about, because he's already forgotten about the clothes. To avoid constantly cleaning up after your furry friend, nip his behavior in the bud as soon as you can.
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Items You May Need
• Chili powder
• Plastic bags
• Whistle or air horn
• Dog toys
• Dog treats
• Baby gate
• Dog bed or crate
• Food-stuffed dog toy
• Puppy pad or newspapers
Tip #1 - Booby-trap the washing line. Sprinkle chili powder on an old towel and hang it in between the clothes on the washing line. When your puppy gives in to his urge to pull the clothes of the line, he'll come across the chili-powdered towel and the taste will deter him. Alternatively, fill plastic bags with water and hang them on the washing line. When your pet companion starts pulling on the clothes, he'll get splashed with the water and might stop his destructive behavior.
Tip #2 - Startle and redirect your puppy to correct his behavior. Arm yourself with a whistle or air horn and watch your pet companion closely when he's near the washing line. The moment he makes a beeline for the clothes and starts pulling at them, blow the whistle or use the air horn to stop him in his tracks. Say "no" or "bad dog" and show him a dog toy. When he shows interest in the toy, praise him and give him a treat. Do this each time you catch him and over time he'll associate the washing line with the unpleasant noise and will leave it alone.
Tip #3 - Schedule daily workouts for your puppy so he can run and burn energy that he would otherwise use to satisfy his clothes-pulling fetish. Play a game of fetch or tug-of-war, and surprise him with chew toys and food-stuffed dog toys that can keep him busy for hours. Spend quality time with him and have him meet other people and dogs to improve his social skills and avoid loneliness.
Tip #4 - Confine your puppy when you're unable to watch him so he can't get to the washing line. Block off a small area of the kitchen or bathroom with a baby gate. Place a dog bed or crate, a bowl of water and a food-stuffed dog toy on one end of the room, and a puppy pad or several layers of newspapers on the other end. Only confine your puppy for a short period and gradually build up the duration as he gets older.
By Kimberly Caines
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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.