Step Two: Supervision

Step Two is to stick to a strict supervision schedule.

Just like with children, puppies need constant supervision. The one difference is that we can leave a puppy in a crate or confinement area and leave the home for short periods.

Using your short- and long-term confinement areas for times when you cannot supervise is your best bet, however I do not suggest keeping them there 100% of the time. You will want to get your puppy used to other areas of the home in short bursts. Before bringing your pup into the living room or the dining room, for example, you’ll want to attach the leash and puppy proof. Get your pup out for a good walk and ensure they’re “empty” so that you can avoid messes.

Spend a few minutes in the new room and make it a relaxing experience rather than “fun times”. Maybe even bring their mat and feed them a handful of their kibble one at a time on that mat so that they are being well-paid for settling on their mat in this new space. Let them explore for about 1-2 minutes, closely supervised, and then back to the long-term confinement or even back outside to potty. Sometimes just 1-2 minutes in a new space can trigger the bladder or bowels!

Over time, your puppy will gain control over their “holding muscles” and you can allow them more freedom, but for the first little while, they’re going to have a fairly small world inside the home.

When you’re supervising, it’s a great idea to have the leash attached so that you can grab them and run if you need to – it beats chasing after them when you see them hide under the coffee table or behind the couch and start to squat!