Thursday, 7 February 2019

Management…do I have to do this forever?

It’s a question we’re often asked by our clients, usually after we’ve given them some strategies for helping to prevent their puppy’s unwanted behaviour. 

 These are just some of the management suggestions we’ll give new puppy owners: 

  • Put shoes and any valuable items they can chew out of the way 
  • Make use of crates, barriers and baby gates 
  • Restrict access to some rooms and put rugs away 
  • Use a houseline 
  • Consider wearing wellingtons in the house 
  • Use a longline on walks 

Summer Learns to settle behind a barrier while I'm busy teaching classes

So, do you need to use management forever? 

Management strategies should be short term solutions, aimed at preventing the puppy practising unwanted behaviours BUT it’s also important that the puppy learns what it is you do want  them to do, otherwise you may have to rely on management for longer (Or forever). 

By training your puppy and rewarding the stuff you like, and want to see more of, you'll be able to stop having to rely as heavily on management over time.  

Puppy chewing should reduce over time, but most dogs do love to chew anyway! By preventing access to things you don’t want your puppy to chew on and providing plenty of suitable alternatives they will learn to chew on appropriate items and you can gradually reintroduce your shoes once you're puppy knows there are better alternatives! 

 Many puppies come away from the breeders trained to toilet on puppy pads, which means they’ve learnt to pee on soft things! You may need to remove rugs and mats for a short time and restrict or heavily supervise access in carpeted rooms. This is just until you’ve taught your puppy that the best place to toilet is outside. 

Some puppies can struggle to settle in a new home environment initially, or you may have a cat or an adult dog that you don’t want the puppy to jump all over. A houseline can be a good way to manage your puppy’s behaviour while you teach them what you would like, calmly settling on their mat or sitting patiently while the cat walks past. 

Wearing Wellingtons indoors sounds crazy, but for those puppies who love to chase and bite at feet it’s a safe way to move about the house until your puppy learns how to play more appropriately with humans! 

Before you’re ready to un-clip the lead and set your puppy free to run around, you may need to check they can come back when called reliably and can check in with you regularly. One option is to practice in a secure field first, the other is to use a long line attached to your puppy’s harness so you can practice your recall training safely…once you know you’re puppy will reliably come back, even when there are distractions you can stop using the line. 

Eva the Munsterlander pup, loving her new found freedom off lead! 

If you’re still relying on using management with your dog make sure you have a clear idea of how your training goals will help you move away from using as much management. 

Need a bit of extra help with your training? 

Our 3 week intensives classes are short courses designed to give you help with specific areas of training;
  • Mind Your Manners: Self-Control 
  • Baby Come Back: Recall Skills
  • Stay By My Side: Loose Lead Walking

 3 week intensive classes  


Happy training 

Clare and the gang

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