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

A puppy left to wander the house unsupervised usually comes up with behavior you might not like…such as chewing your favorite 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. A common example is when people think ‘the dog knows’ he has done something wrong. All he knows is you are unhappy. What you are observing is stress in your dog due to how you are acting.

In your absence, a dog decides things for himself.

In your absence, a dog decides things for himself. You can not get angry when your unsupervised puppy 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 damaging to your dog.

Always Give Your Puppy a Better Alternative

If you see the pup doing something that is inappropriate, calmly 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.