Spring is the season of new growth, cleaning out your home, starting new tasks and setting personal goals. I myself have gotten a puppy, moved into a new apartment, planted a balcony garden and brought home a new puppy.
Dexter will be 12 weeks old soon, he was born on January 17, 2017 and is full of energy, made of floof and is learning how to be the ultimate “good boy”. This post will detail some things I have learned in the first few weeks of being a dog mom that may help you decide on getting a puppy or even help you with a puppy you’ve already brought home! Of course this information is all from personal experience and is solely based there. I am not a behaviorist or dog trainer by any means.
Puppies are sweet and cuddly and sleep all day…for the most part. Day one of having Dexter at home that is basically all he did. Day two he became a little more adventurous and explored the apartment and discovered that he likes to bite my hands and my toes and any flow-y clothing I or any of my friends are wearing.
Everything I have researched via my Google addiction and the wonderful world of Pinterest has lead me to some helpful advice and tricks to teach my puppy to stop biting. I’ve also gotten some words of wisdom from my veterinarian. He hasn’t completely stopped but we are a work in progress.
Teaching A Puppy Not to Bite
The first tip is to never pull your hands away, let those needle teeth reach you. Yes it hurts, but when you flail around and jump away the puppy thinks you are playing keep away. Instead you should make a high-pitched yipping noise to let the puppy know that his bite has hurt you! He should stop going for your hand and then you will be able to redirect his attention to something he is allowed to chew on, like a bone or rope toy. At this point you praise the puppy to let them know they are doing something right. I’ve been using this tactic for about two weeks and Dexter has not stopped altogether but he has been biting significantly less and when he does it is not nearly as hard or painful.
My second tip is for when the first tip just is not working. You’ve tried and tried to redirect the puppy to a toy and he is just being really persistent. In this situation you should immediately change from play mode to training mode. Tell the puppy to sit and offer him a treat for sitting. I have taught Dexter to sit, lie down and roll over already. When I stop playing with him and signal him to sit he becomes focused on the treat instead of biting me. Once the puppy has completed his tasks you can resume playing.
The final tip is to put the pup on time out. Sometimes the little pup is just too excited and cannot think straight and remember that biting is hurtful. Tell your puppy “No” firmly when he bites and then put them into the crate or their kennel, return after five minutes and they have calmed down ready to play some more!
Potty Training in an Apartment
Potty training in an apartment is not as difficult or impossible as it may seem, especially when your puppy may not be fully vaccinate. I recommend that you purchase a ton of Nature’s Miracle because it will save your deposit and carpets from any accidents. It is easy to use and not going to break your bank. I have puppy pads for Dexter and I also have a fake grass pad on my balcony. I purchased Dexter’s “grass” from Amazon and it is the Pet Maker brand. It comes with a removable tray and is easy to clean and re-use!
You as an owner have to make sure your puppy is aware of the locations he is allowed to potty and the spaces that are inappropriate. You can do this by catching them in the act and by making sure you take them to their designated potty area whenever you think they may need to go. A good rule of thumb to determine how often your puppy will need to go is to add one to their age in months (Dexter is between 2 and 3 months so let’s say 2 + 1 = 3) and that is the number of hours they can wait between potties.
Your dog will not instantly know that going to the bathroom in the house is unacceptable, you need to show them! You also cannot get angry with the puppy when they do have an accident. Unless you catch them in the act they will have no clue as to why they are being yelled at. When you do catch the puppy in the act you should scoop them up and make a loud unhappy “AUURRRGH!” to let them know it isn’t ok. Place them in the correct area and then praise them when they complete their business to let them know they have done a great job!
This is going to take some time, most puppies are not fully potty trained until they are around 6 months and some may even take up to a year.