Can you raise a puppy without it destroying your house?

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Can you raise a puppy without it destroying your house?

This is a discussion on Can you raise a puppy without it destroying your house? within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Wellllll, the question is pretty to-the-point. I found a breeder and a litter that I've fallen head-over-heels in love with, and am seriously considering getting ...

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Old 11-15-2014, 02:27 PM
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Can you raise a puppy without it destroying your house?

Wellllll, the question is pretty to-the-point. I found a breeder and a litter that I've fallen head-over-heels in love with, and am seriously considering getting a puppy.

The to-the-point, tl;dr question:
Can you raise a puppy without it destroying your house???


More information, if you want it:

I started out my dog-finding mission with a "no puppies" mentality, however after much research and soul-searching, I am starting to think that it's our best option, as opposed to an older adult rescue. We will be able to introduce Vikky to the puppy as a blank slate; the puppy won't have any preconceived notions about inappropriate responses, and Vikky's "throne" won't be threatened. We have pretty well decided a male puppy is the best way to go.
Most people I talk to suggest a male puppy over anything else. Male so Vikky doesn't feel like an alpha female is trying to take her space, and a puppy so she can tell it off without it having any preset reactions.
I'd love feedback on that..

Anyways, the thread's title: This is my fiance's greatest concern. We just bought a new (as in brand new) house, and while we want a new dog to work, I really don't want my brand new house destroyed. I hear all the horror stories about puppies destroying everything they can get their mouths on.
I feel confident that I will not let that happen (too much) - is that an unrealistic thought?
I am a confident animal handler (horse in my avatar is my 4 year old mare, who I have had since she was a baby. I am VERY proud about how I've trained her, I will boast that she's one of the nicest horses I've ever worked with. I get compliments on her training ALL the time.) anyways, point is that I put the time in, and I expect my animals to respect me, with due cause.
I am worried that I'm getting in over my head by even considering a puppy though. I am more than happy to put the time in, to watch the pup like a hawk...

Thoughts?

TIA!
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:42 PM
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Dogs don't respect, they also don't owe you for your choice to have them.

Proper management will reduce damage, but puppies are puppies, but to be Frank, Kabota is why I buy cheap couches and rugs.
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:48 PM
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Crate train. I've raised quite a few puppies. Most of them were Labs which seem to be considered a breed that chews up anything and everything. I've had a few table legs chewed on and the baseboards have gotten chewed a time or two. All my fault for not supervising more closely. For the most part, it's all about you and your partner's ability and willingness to be proactive with preventing a pup from chewing inappropriately. I've never found raising a puppy that doesn't chew up stuff that hard. I learned from my early mistakes.


I don't know what you mean here: "the puppy won't have any preconceived notions about inappropriate responses". Puppies have a lot of preconceived notions based on every experience they have from the time they're able to perceive and experience their world.

How does your female get along with other dogs? Has she ever been around puppies? That's more indicative of how they will get along than anything else.

Dogs don't really have a concept of respect toward humans. That's a human feeling. Dogs learn like all animals learn. They do what works. When people say they expect their dogs to respect them it always sends a little alert to my brain. If that means you expect your dog to obey cues that you've patiently taught, using positive reinforcement, I'm all for it. What does "with due cause" mean?

As for the brand new house. It's all up to you guys. Dogs have no concept of new houses either. A new leather couch is just a big chew item unless they're given alternatives to chew on.

A great book for you would be Sophia Yin's Perfect Puppy in Seven Days. Dogs share our lives in a way that is different than horses. This book may give you some good ideas on how to enjoy your puppy and to avoid having the new house damaged.
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Old 11-15-2014, 03:01 PM
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Sorry - I guess "respect" is more of a horse training term; I'm realizing more and more that the terms really don't cross over well haha! My apologies for the lack of proper terminology.
I teach my horse to "respect my space" and expect her to behave as I've taught her - of course I don't expect her to know something that I haven't taught her. I'm patient and consistent with my training methods.
I don't expect a dog to be anything like a horse; what I was trying to get at is that I'm confident about being able to communicate effectively with animals, and am the personality that tries to be as consistent as possible to avoid confusing an animal.
I hope that clarifies and helps ease some of the concern?

We will utilize as many resources as we need to make this successful - whether x-pens, crates, chews etc to professional trainers
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Old 11-15-2014, 03:09 PM
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Well, I would say that it is hard. But while my 9 months old Border Collie has been wanting to chew everything in sight, he has not been able to destroy anything inside the house so far. But it's only due to a lot of supervision, redirection and prevention. He's crate trained and is only now unsupervised in the house for short amounts of time (5-10 minutes).

So it is possible, but a lot of work. It depends on you, but it's definitely possible. As long as he's not alone/unsupervised to destroy anything, he won't have the chance to
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Old 11-15-2014, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allianna View Post
Sorry - I guess "respect" is more of a horse training term; I'm realizing more and more that the terms really don't cross over well haha! My apologies for the lack of proper terminology.
I teach my horse to "respect my space" and expect her to behave as I've taught her - of course I don't expect her to know something that I haven't taught her. I'm patient and consistent with my training methods.
I don't expect a dog to be anything like a horse; what I was trying to get at is that I'm confident about being able to communicate effectively with animals, and am the personality that tries to be as consistent as possible to avoid confusing an animal.
I hope that clarifies and helps ease some of the concern?

We will utilize as many resources as we need to make this successful - whether x-pens, crates, chews etc to professional trainers
One of the reasons the word "respect" raises a red flag here, and so does the word "alpha" for that matter, is that both words often indicate that a dog owner has watched far too much of Cesar Milan's show. Another tip-off is the term "pack leader." The Dog Whisperer's Kool-Aid may be sweet-tasting at the first sip, but in the end, it's pretty toxic.

A lot of time is spent here trying to educate new members on the value of positive reinforcement training. And, that's especially the case when we suspect that someone has been using dominance-based techniques.
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Old 11-15-2014, 03:39 PM
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Puppies are awesome, but they're not problem-free. It's good you're going through a good breeder. How is your current dog with puppies? Puppies have a bouncy energy and irritating factor that older dogs are less likely to have, and sometimes adult dogs don't enjoy that so much. Also, while my dog is a special case, I got him at 8 weeks old and he attacked all three of my current dogs on the very first day we brought him home. I had never thought a puppy was capable of such a thing, but he was very insecure (still is) and that was his response.

That said, I've had puppies and they mess things up (dogs do too) but never anything major. The biggest issue is pawing/scratching at doors but management and crating could help there. Management can help with chewing and potty training as well. It's not likely you'll escape the puppy phase with absolutely nothing destroyed, but if you play your cards right, you can keep the nice and big ticket items safe from harm
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Old 11-15-2014, 04:39 PM
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If you don't want a puppy, don't get one. There's no reason you shouldn't be able to incorporate an adult dog into your home provided you select one with a temperament that will mesh well with Vikki's, and you introduce them properly and manage them properly until they get settled together.

If you have behavior issues with Vikki around other dogs, getting a puppy instead of an adult doesn't often solve much or prevent the problems you expect with getting an adult. She shouldn't be allowed to boss a puppy around any more than another adult dog. A quick "hey don't do that" is one thing. But you will ultimately be the one in charge, and you have to teach her and the puppy to share with one another and know when Vikki is having enough of the puppy, or the puppy isn't listening to Vikki's body language. A puppy could easily be traumatized by a dog that is too forward with corrections or telling-off, and this could damage their future relationship. Remember that when you first get a puppy, they are at a fear imprint stage, so a negative experience could affect that puppy for life.

Anyway I guess my ultimate point is to choose the dog for YOU, not for Vikki, because either way, introducing and managing two dogs and establishing a relationship between them is work. Especially if Vikki is particular about other dogs. At least with an adult, you can know it's temperament before hand and know whether it'll mesh well with Vikki's or not. Puppies change, so it's a lot harder to gauge what their adult temperament will be.

As for house destroying, I've never had an issue and I've raised 4 puppies now? Sure some small things got destroyed here and there (my fault), but there's never been any serious damage to the house. Some carpet stains from potty accidents. That's about it!
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Old 11-15-2014, 05:18 PM
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I've had two puppies (one we got at 5 1/2 months, the other at 12 1/2 weeks) and our house is in the same condition as it was pre-pup (in fact, it might even be a little more tidy, thanks to Tyson's innate curiosity). The key for us was strict supervision and appropriate confinement (i.e., crates and gates).

I do agree with the points made by others, especially TiggerBounce.

@SusanLynn, this is awesome!
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Old 11-15-2014, 05:37 PM
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In a word... confinement. No, your dog doesn't have to be crated all the time but confining the dog to an x-pen when you can't supervise or even blocking off your kitchen to confine the dog to hard floors can prevent carpet and a good deal of furniture destruction.

My mom is dutch so our house has always been pretty pristine. Like, no hands on the walls pristine. Keeping our dog in the kitchen and/or an x-pen played a large role in keeping it this way for the first year. My mom would also tether him (leash him to her waist so that he was never unsupervised as a puppy).

So in a word, above all else... Management, management, management!
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