Has your sweet pup gone from cuddle monster to four-legged monster? Click through to find out our Adolescent Puppy Survival Guide tips.
Remember sweet boy, Hank? Our little innocent pup that we adopted late this summer? Yeah… in just a few short months our little Hank has put on thirty pounds… and a little bit of attitude.
Sure he cuddles, but we’re more apt to find him digging in the yard, jumping on guests, and hiding our shoes around the house. At a recent vet appointment our vet warned us that our little nugget would like top out around 70 pounds. 70. Pounds. Which means, we’ve got to get him under control. And fast.
Luckily, my husband is 4-H Certified in Puppy Training…. YEP. 4H Certified. Jealous? Sure, I’ve made fun of him plenty, but in all honesty, he’s got dog-training skillz. And together, we’re getting through it. Here are some of the things we’ve learned.
Adolescent Puppy Survival Guide
Use one word commands. The other day, I tried to teach Hank to fetch. “Go, get the ball! Bring it back! Drop it!” My husband sat back as I shouted to no avail. However, in five short minutes of a simple “Fetch!,” he had him retrieving the ball for a treat.
Rein them in. With a chest-strong dog, like Hank, I’ve found it’s easiest to leash-train them on a lead like the Gentle Leader. It’s a little tricky to put on the first few times, and they will fight it, but it safely keeps pups from pulling on their leash. With kids walking our dog, I want everyone safely on the sidewalk and not chasing squirrels into traffic.
Use training treats. The first bag of treats I tried to train Hank with were on the larger size. Which meant after a few attempts at a new trick, he was just fine, thank-you-very-much. I learned that to keep practicing, I had to keep the treats small to keep him motivated. You can find training-sized treats at any pet store.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. We’ve all gotten a few scratches. But, we know they were accidents. And man, there has been a lot more laundry. Between potty mishaps, muddy puppy paws on clothes, and dog bedding, the laundry room certainly reflects the addition of another family member.
Thank goodness I’ve found Lysol® Laundry Sanitizer. I’ve been running it with all of my laundry loads of late. It doesn’t contain bleach, so it’s safe on colored clothing. When use as directed in the rinse cycle, Lysol Laundry Sanitizer kills up to 99.9% of bacteria (including odor-causing bacteria)! I don’t need my house to smell like I have a dog!
Find the right play toys. My pup loves a squeaky toy. A giant stick. Balls to play fetch with. Whatever he likes, I make sure he always has nearby to play with. Anything to keep my favorite shoes and James lovey out of his jaws.
Keep chew deterrent spray on hand. But, just in case… buy a chew deterrent spray from the pet store. They are generally very bitter and safe for most household items.
Any puppy training pros out there? Feel free to add your tips in the comments below!