Whats UP?

What Now? Part 3

Kids & Puppy; Feeling Harangued?

Right now most of us are feeling strange to say the least. Day to day changes and new routines at home can feel overwhelming. Adding kids and puppies to the mix makes it even more complex.

To help with the flow of things at home as we all wade through this, I want to share some tips that you may find helpful. I will start by saying that I hope everyone is staying safe and doing as best as can be. All of us at Ultimate Puppy are thinking about you and sending out love.

Structure

Anyone who has done my webinar or gone through my puppy course (which I am teaching remotely!) knows how I feel about creating structure for a puppy as well as a smooth rhythm in the house. Now more than ever it is important. Not only for the puppy but also for ourselves.

If you are working from home and have a new puppy, just because you are home should not equal automatic freedom for the puppy. This will most certainly result in you feeling overwhelmed. Keep up with your confinement training. This will also be important when things go back to a more normal schedule, and, as the dog goes through adolescence. There are so many reasons to crate train. Your sanity happens to be a very important reason just now.

If you are working, the puppy should be in his safe spot (crate or pen). If the kids have the puppy out, be sure you have provided them with a game plan for what they will be focusing on. I provide a few sample game plans at the end of this post.

The Right Rhythm

Gates, crates and a leash on (in the house) are the ways you will create the structure that is necessary for a calm household. Combine the structure with self-soothing chews and food stuffed toys.

When the puppy is out of his confinement space someone should be attending to him. If it is the kids, let’s give them a plan, so everyone is set up for success. It may be play, training, cuddling or out on a walk (if this is a safe alternative where you are).

Schedules are good right now. This could be a project for the family where you create a daily schedule for the kids and puppy. The schedule should clearly map out times for; puppy napping, enrichment (with kids), enrichment (with a toy on their own), learn a new trick, practice socialization, practice prevention, etc.

The time frame for each activity should be short(ish). It may range from 5 minutes to 30 minutes depending on the age of the puppy and the kids.

A Well Rounded Plan

A big part of your success is going to be making sure the puppy gets a good dose of everything he needs right now. One of the important things, often overlooked, is lots of sleep. Puppies need anywhere from 16 to 20 hours of sleep in a 24 hour span.

Other key considerations are creative socialization, lots of prevention and enrichment opportunities. The puppy needs the opportunity to sniff and explore. If there is not a safe place for you to be going out with the puppy get a snuffle mat. In addition play lots of hide and seek with food.

Enlisting the Kid’s Help

Use our Step By Step game plan as a template to get you rolling with enlisting your children’s help. It is as easy as picking something from each of the sections at Ultimate Puppy to focus on. It is important that they like their task. Maybe it’s all about the games for one kid and another prefers teaching sit or hand targeting. Remember sessions should be kept short.

Sample Plans

Plan 1: (15 minutes)

  1. Prep treats for session.
  2. Puppy comes out of the crate and goes out to bathroom spot, don’t forget to take a treat!
  3. Play hide and seek for 10 minutes.
  4. Puppy goes out for a bathroom break.
  5. Puppy goes back in the crate with a toy that has been pre stuffed.

Plan 2: (30 minutes)

  1. Prep treats for session.
  2. Puppy comes out of crate and goes to bathroom spot. Don’t for your treat!
  3. Practicing luring sit, down and stand for 10 mins.
  4. Take puppy for a bathroom break.
  5. Provide puppy with a treat ball, while kids oversee.
  6. Puppy goes out for a bathroom break.
  7. Puppy goes back into his crate with toy that has been pre stuffed.

Plan 3: (20 minutes)

  1. Prep treats for session.
  2. Puppy comes out of crate and goes to bathroom spot. Don’t for your treat!
  3. Play this recall game for 3 minutes
  4. Practice in and out of the crate
  5. Puppy goes out for a bathroom break.
  6. Puppy goes back into his crate with toy that has been pre stuffed.

Plan 4: (30 minutes)

  1. Prep treats for session.
  2. Puppy comes out of crate and goes to bathroom spot. Don’t for your treat!
  3. Combine the kids playing dress up with this socialization game
  4. Puppy goes out for a bathroom break.
  5. Puppy goes back into his crate with toy that has been pre stuffed.

Bonus Videos

Here is a selection of videos starring kids, for kids, from The Team at The Family Dog.

Train With Syd from Ultimate Puppy

I am teaching classes and consults online. They are proving to be a great success. If you would like more information please get in touch with me at sydney@ultimatepuppy.com

Stay current and receive Puppy Journal notifications.


Hello… What’s UP?

bulldog_rollover_fail