Here are a few tips to help calm your wild puppy.
A puppy witching hour?
Puppies get especially wound near dusk, or between 6 and 8 p.m., depending on where you live.
When possible, exercise and potty your puppy before this time. Then, she can rest in her crate with a Kong stuffed with her dinner, while you enjoy yours.
New rule: “Jumping makes all attention and fun activity stop.”
If you are sitting and your puppy jumps on you, stand up, fold your arms and turn your back. After your puppy has all four paws on the floor, sit back down. Wait a few seconds, then pet her if she is sitting, standing, or laying down.
This also applies for when you are on walks. If you are walking your pup and she begins to bite, paw and jump up, stop walking, cross your arms and turn away. As soon as she stops, start walking again. Remember to keep those walks short — no more than 15 minutes — for tired puppy legs!
Jumping / Scratching / Biting while playing
Leashes, tethered to a sturdy object, can be a lifesaver. Tethering is especially effective for supervised child-puppy play. Playing with a tethered pup has some special rules:
- Tether your pup for no longer than 10-15 minutes.
- Always use a harness to tether your puppy.
- Interact with your tethered puppy (see instructions below).
- People, including children, must stay calm around a tethered puppy.
- Always supervise your tethered puppy.
Engage your puppy by playing with a small toy, or training an easy skill. Feed your puppy a treat before he gets over-stimulated. Practice walking away from, then up to your puppy, and dropping a treat on the ground if his paws stay on the floor.
If your puppy starts jumping or biting at you or your child, walk away. Interrupt the playtime by stepping out of his reach. Wait without talking until he calms down (sits or keeps all four feet on the ground). After he calms down, say “Go play!” and resume playing, petting or teaching a trick.
Relaxing time for your puppy (and you!)
Take advantage of crate training and give your puppy some alone time to relax in her crate during the day.
Put her in her crate for about 30 minutes, once or twice a day while you are home. (One of these times can be during the puppy witching hour!) Be sure she has a frozen Kong or other tasty chew toy in the crate. This will give you a break from your wild puppy, and teach her to settle herself for short periods of time.
This exercise can also teach her that her crate is a relaxing, safe place. With practice, she may go to the crate on her own. Teach children and other people in the house not to disturb a puppy who is in her crate.
- Running or screaming around the crate.
- Making loud banging or popping noises near the crate.
- Sticking your fingers in the crate.
- Calling or talking to your puppy while she is in the crate.
- Putting your face up to the door or walls of the puppy’s crate.
If need be, you can cover your puppy’s crate with a blanket, or add a “Do not disturb” sign to help remind your family.
Practice these tips and you may have your little Tazmanian Devil settled in no time!