Eight week old yellow Lab puppy with red shoe in his mouth

A puppy left to wander the house unsupervised usually comes up with a behavior you might not like…such as chewing your favourite new shoes

No Punitive Action

Never punish or reprimand the puppy for something that he has done after the fact. A dog’s perception of time is not the same as ours. If you are punishing your pup for a mistake he made even one minute earlier, he has no concept of that. He may have walked into the room after chewing on your favorite shoes and then plopped down to relax. You give him a very terse ticking off. He thinks that you are cross because he is lying down.

In your absence, a dog decides things for himself.

The mistake was yours for not supervising your puppy. In your absence, a dog decides things for himself. You can not get angry when your unsupervised dog makes a choice that you do not like.

After enough episodes like this, you have a basket case of a dog on your hands. He has no idea when you will fly off the handle, or why. Very confusing, unfair and potentially destructive to your dog.

Always Give Your Puppy a Better Alternative

If you see the pup doing something that is inappropriate, stop him and direct him to what it is that you want him to do, whether that be to go outside to do his business, or chew on something you give him instead of something you cherish.