Tips to Create a Safe Home for Your Rambunctious Puppy

Keep Puppy Feet on the Floor

Puppies seem to think they have wings, as they fearlessly leap off chairs, sofas and beds. But splatting onto the floor, especially if there’s no carpet or nonskid rug to cushion their landings, is the fast lane to knee injuries, broken bones or slipped discs. Be especially cautious with tiny dogs or dogs with long backs, such as Dachshunds, Basset Hounds or Corgis. Encourage safe access off furniture or out of vehicles with pet steps or ramps. You could also provide an ottoman or footstool as a sort of stepping stone from the bed or sofa to the floor. Place a throw rug in front of furniture to help ensure a safe landing. Teach pups to wait to be lifted off beds or out of cars. I guarantee you, it’s a lesson they’ll remember and benefit from throughout their lives.

When your puppy isn't jumping off things, he may be climbing up on them. Dogs are ingenious when it comes to getting at food or garbage, for instance. The tall ones will simply stand on their hind legs and counter surf, but I’ve known plenty of shorter dogs who have made use of chairs or other objects to access a resting roast. Countering counter surfing is primarily a matter of placing items out of reach. If you think your dog can’t get to something, be smart and place it farther back or higher up — just to make sure. Push chairs under tables and away from counters to reduce the risk that your dog will get the bright idea to climb on them to get where he wants to go.

Best of all, teach “leave it” or “off” commands from an early age. Some dogs are intransigent, but others really will learn to obey you—even when food is in play.

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