By Jennifer Kyzer, Master Trainer and Behavior Specialist
"I recently adopted a young puppy. She is very sweet and playful, and very mischievous! Without constant supervision, she'll chew on everything (shoes, fingers, table legs, even the sofa) and has pottied in the house a number of times. This is my first puppy, and I knew it would be a challenge, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into! I'd love some suggestions for raising her properly."
Puppies should be treated like toddlers, in the sense that they do need constant supervision, a safe environment, rules and rituals. There are several ways to have a pup under supervision. Utilizing the crate, gating and tethering the pup to you can all be used to help you keep a close eye on your pup. These will also significantly increase success with potty training.
Potty training is an important aspect of puppyhood. Having a consistent routine will speed up this process. At the door, develop a ritual. Start by having the puppy sit and/or ring a bell, praise with a treat, leash the pup and then go out the door. Once you are outside, use the potty command (do it, do your business, potty, etc…) in a higher, fun voice until puppy begins to potty.