People often come in and they feel so bad that their puppy’s doing this one thing wrong, but we’ve seen it hundreds of times before we have over 40 instructors that teach here in our school and also online, and I thought it would be really fun to ask Them all the same question, and that is what is the biggest mistake – that new puppy owners make. I would say the biggest mistake is giving a dog too much freedom too much freedom, too much freedom, too much freedom, too much freedom, too much freedom too soon. What is too much freedom too much freedom is not enough supervision. Now, as you would imagine, supervision means you need to actually watch your puppy all of the time, but I don’t know anybody that could actually watch their puppy 24 hours a day seven days a week.
So, today, we’re going to talk to you about two tools that are going to, make a massive difference in your ability to successfully train your puppy. Now, before we get to that, I want to spell out what supervision actually means cuz, although a lot of people think that they’re supervising their puppy supervision doesn’t count if you’re in the kitchen and you’re making dinner or you’re in your office and you’re typing an email And your puppy’s just hanging out with you, that’s not actually supervision. I can tell you all kinds of times where people are distracted and behind them the puppy’s chewing on the table. Leg or they’ve had an accident supervision means you have two eyeballs on the puppy and you’re actively watching and engaging with them, and if you’re not able to do that, there’s where these two tools are going to come in handy the first tool I want to talk To you about is this ratty looking thing here, and this is a very well used house line or long line, and this is something that we use to control our puppy’s freedom in the house.
I can’t drive that home enough, and this is really important, because it’s going to allow me to very easily and calmly get control of my puppy in any moment’s notice. You know certain areas with us, but this line is going to be used for all kinds of situations where our puppies are going to make normal puppy choices. Having a line on our puppy allows us to easily get control now some people think when they get a line that they’re just going to hook it onto their puppy and boom. Stepping on the line using the line to take the puppy away from wherever they’re getting into mischief, and then I can redirect them to something that they should be doing and by having really great uh supervision during that time, where I’m giving them a bit more freedom.
Even though they’re not actually completely free, yet it allows me to make sure that I’m teaching my puppy the rules of the house and I’m able to do that in a really calm and positive manner, with anything in dog training. It depends on the relationship you have with your puppy, how consistent you are, but basically the golden rule is you’re going to use it until you can’t remember the last time you had to use it. So if it’s attached to your puppy – and you don’t have to step on it, you don’t have to pick it up to follow through with anything. This takes months to do because, as your puppy goes grows from baby puppy to you know, middle aged puppy to adolescent they’re going to go through lots of little.
Remove the line use the line, remove the line depending on what that particular puppy needs in the moment, and the second question we get asked a lot is, I would love to use the line, but my puppy just wants to eat it, and this is really common. If you can imagine you know, it looks sort of like a dangly tug toy attached to the puppy’s collar all of the time, but I assure you if you use the line religiously the novelty of the line quickly wears off. You know when I got my new puppy, I put the line on the first day. Now I want to tell you another thing that is really important about using a house line, and that is the house line is not a leash and what I mean by that is that you’re not really supposed to be having it in your hand and walking your Puppy around the house, this is actually going to be used as like an extra appendage on your puppy.
It’s going to just drag around on the floor, and if you need to stop your puppy from doing something, you’re going to be better off just going up and stepping on the line to stop your puppy from wherever, wherever they’re going. If they go to boot down the hallway with socks in the mouth or whatever the situation is you can stop your puppy uh with your foot on the line, and then you can pick the line up and you know follow through with whatever you need to at That point, but it’s not intended for you to hold it and walk them around the house. It’s just supposed to give you a nice bridge between having complete offleash freedom, which is the ultimate goal down the road to being able to get control whenever you need to very easily the second tool that we’re going to talk about. In order to easily control your puppy’s freedom is the use, the proper use of a crate.
When I talk about the use of the crate, I’m not talking about the puppy being in the crate all day long, because our puppies do need to be out and being given freedom to play and explore and be trained when we’re talking about the crate. What we want to suggest to you is that you are going to use the crate many times during the day, sometimes longer periods of time, sometimes shorter periods of time. You don’t have the ability to keep those two eyeballs on the puppy. Those are perfect times to put your puppy in the crate, with our suggestion of increasing crate time with your puppy.
So one of the things I might recommend is moving the crate to a really localized place in your house, so that you probably could be hanging out in their crate chewing a bone or doing something. That’s you know fun uh, but they’re with you, maybe they’re in the kitchen with you or they’re up in your office or wherever it might be so you’re still spending time together, but at the same time, you’re not constantly worried about what they’re doing now with is Increased uh crate time, some of you may fall into the trap of the dogs barking or maybe being a little bit unsettled. We actually have a ton of videos about crate location about how to deal with barking and the crate. You’re doing that, at a time where you actually can pay close attention to what they’re doing so, if they make a poor choice, you’re there to help them through it, the crate needs to be a way to prevent those things from happening with repetition, um and in The meantime, you need to make special effort to make the crate a special place for your puppy.
You know, as long as your training is going well, your puppy’s no longer chewing things. They have a really strong understanding of house training, they’re respectful, um, they’re learning how to behave outside of their crate um. The crate during those moments are going to help. You want to make sure that everybody sort of has the same goals and the same ideas and expectations um that they want for their puppies because consistency with the different people in the household, with the rules, with your follow through they’re going to, allow your puppy to Feel more at peace, they’re going to be less confused, and that leads to a a happier and more well rounded puppy.
In terms of all of the things we want to work on with the puppy, so if you want to learn more about it check out our online puppy essentials program where we’re going to walk you through the entire process, step by step.