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Rules vs Freedom

Rules vs Freedom

My seven-month-old pup is now almost completely part of the household routine. It has been so fun to watch him develop and learn the doggie systems we have in place. But he couldn’t have more freedom until he was ready for it.

Having a puppy or new rescue adult settle into a routine makes life so much easier. Loosening up the rules as he earns more trust builds a confident dog–and removes the stress on the humans, too. I can now just send out all the dogs into the yard in the morning to do their business. I don’t have to watch the puppy to be sure he’s peeing before coming inside. I don’t have to worry he’s going to be snacking on mulch anymore. If he spends more time in the yard, I can glance at him once in a while and lightly supervise. He’s not getting into anything he shouldn’t.

He can now be free in the house when I’m home and I just listen to be sure he doesn’t bug too much one of my cranky seniors. Out and about, I know I can trust him to visit any human and that he’s happy to meet any dog I approve of. He knows not to bother the other dogs when they’re eating. When a dog is staying with us, I can trust mine to communicate properly so play is nice.

He is still crated often so he gets enough rest. I want to keep crating him regularly until he is neutered next month so it’s just expected and usual. But he’s now crated only overnight and when we’re not home. After he’s healed from surgery, I can start giving him some freedom in the house when we’re not around. He doesn’t chew inappropriately, doesn’t have accidents in the house, respects the cats. He’s growing up!

It’s great to crate your dog. It’s great to keep boundaries until you’re really sure the dog can handle loosening them. It’s much easier just to keep the rules in place than to bring them back when a dog fails at them. And then your dog actually understands what’s expected and feels more confident.

It’s too bad that puppies grow up so quickly–but it’s so terrific, too. Having trouble? Give me a call.


Ann on December 20, 2023 AT 07 am

Great blog, how do you leave a 5 month old puppy in back with light supervision when he digs in back, even after exercise

    robin on December 20, 2023 AT 08 am

    I think he answered your question: too soon. He still needs to be watched. Many dig when bored and being by himself isn’t interesting enough, apparently.

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