has written in, describing his Beagle puppy Trio as
"devilish." His list of troubles include
having to replace three remote controls for his
television thus far, due to Trio chewing on them, trying
in vain to get socks, toilet paper, dish towels and his
checkbook out of Trioís mouth before they are
destroyed, and having to drive down to the end of his
cul-de-sac to pick up Trio after heís escaped upon
opening the garage door.
Tom, Trio really has gotten the best of you! Your
troubles seem somewhat related, as they all seem to stem
from Trio having too much personal freedom that he
clearly hasnít yet earned. In addition, it seems like
you are so busy doing damage control, you havenít had
the time to set yourself and your environment up for
prevention of these issues. So, place Trio in his crate
while you read this, and then prepare yourself for Puppy
letís be clear ó all of Trioís behavior is
completely normal. Puppies have big energy bursts
throughout the day, are interested in putting everything
into their mouths and are always looking for something
new and appealing to do. As Trioís owner, itís your
job to steer him toward acceptable things to chew on and
interact with. Keep a solid inventory of ideal puppy
items: chewy items and numerous toys with various
textures. These should be rotated and offered anytime
you sense that Trio needs something to focus and chew on
Ė before he chooses an item on his own.
Trio should only have access to the room that you are
in. You can accomplish this by placing a baby gate up to
prevent him from going room to room, or you can have him
attached to you via a 6 foot leash. In any case, you
should be able to visibly see what Trio is doing in the
house at all times.
you should "puppy proof" your home just like
you would for a baby, but with canine safety in mind.
Part of making sure Trio doesnít grow into a habitual
chewer of human items means that he should have no
access to them as a puppy. So keep your socks up off the
floor, close the bathroom doors so he canít get to the
toilet paper, and place dishtowels, checkbooks, and
anything else of value out of reach.
matter how diligent you are at puppy-proofing your home,
there will still be instances of Trio getting something
off-limits. How you respond in this scenario will
greatly affect whether he continues to do this or not.
If you are in the habit of going after Trio to get an
item away from him, Trio has effectively taught you how
to play chase. You have other options: If he grabs an
off-limit item, do not react with any excitement.
Instead, slowly move toward the refrigerator or treat
jar, and start to sweetly talk about
"Cookies!" This will likely bring Trio back to
you, and then an exchange can be made Ė cookie for
human item. Another option would be to quietly and
slowly move indirectly toward Trio, until you are able
to step on the leash that is attached to him, thus
preventing him from running away from you. Then you can
calmly trade items with him.
hasnít yet earned the freedom of being off leash when
outdoors. So make sure you donít open the garage door
until Trio is on his leash. But definitely do take him
out in the front yard to play with him; part of
preventing a dog from always trying to escape is to
allow him to become familiar with the outdoors under
Tom, get started in a positive-based training program
right away. Trio needs to learn the value of paying
attention to you and your directions Ė because all
good things should come from you, and you need to learn
how to communicate your wishes to Trio instead of just
dealing with his mistakes. In short, a dialogue between
you needs to be created, so you can direct Trio down the
path of behavior that you desire, and then let Trio reap
the rewards that come with polite compliance.