Puppy in the House

Getting a new puppy

With a new puppy, Cesar Millan recommends letting the puppy know who the owner is from the very beginning; he advises against spoiling the puppy and letting it take charge. Visiting the vet early on is another recommendation. This gets the puppy used to visiting the vet and helps rule out any health conditions that might be an issue later on. Housebreaking early is very important to prevent bad habits altogether. Regular exercise, walking and play time are crucial for a learning puppy.

For housebreaking, Cesar Millan encourages setting up a routine right away. The dog needs to know the approximate eating times and potty times throughout the day. Set a routine for going for walks around the same time every day.

Feeding schedules should also be part of the routine. Food should be set out at the same time every day and not be left out for grazing. Take the puppy out to potty several minutes after it finishes eating to let the puppy relieve itself.


As with babies, your new puppy must be kept free from materials that could hurt him/her. Make sure your cabinets are secure and do not leave harmful materials around. Your puppy is learning and testing his boundaries. Make sure all caustic materials are in a secure location. Puppies, just like babies, put everything in their mouths. Try to tie up all extension cords and teach your puppy to leave them alone. Scour your home for anything a curious puppy would investigate. Make sure trash containers are unavailable to curious pets and walk any leftover food to the garbage outside or use a disposal. Lots of human food can make your pet sick or worse so learn these foods and be sure to keep them away from our pets. I do not believe in feeding human food to a dog but many people do. Just make sure the food is safe for your dog to eat.


Never hit a puppy or any animal for that matter. There are a myriad of ways to discipline your puppy other than hitting him. You do not want a dog that is afraid of you and trembles when you come near. You want a happy, loving pet who will love you unconditionally throughout the many years you will be together. I always used the word “No” when my puppy was doing something that could hurt him or something I did not want him to do. They will understand the meaning of “No” almost immediately. Like a baby, when your puppy is doing something that is harmful simply remove them from the attraction and get them involved in something else.

Learning and growing

Puppies need playtime to help develop muscles and strength. Encourage your puppy to play but do not allow them to bite you. They need to know right away this is unacceptable. There are innumerable chew toys for them to satisfy their need for biting and chewing. Playtime was always a wonderful experience for both me and my dogs. I would take them outside and throw the ball for them to run and fetch. Watch them carefully as you need to be the one who knows when they are getting tired. Be sure to offer water for them after playtime and a quiet place for them to rest. I suggest getting them a bed where they can go whenever they want to rest. It is their space and they will soon learn it is a relaxing place for them.


It is your home and you set the rules. If it is OK with you to allow your puppy on the furniture, that is fine. Please consider them as an adult. A German Shepard is a really cute puppy and allowing them to get on the sofa with you is understandable. Once he has reached maturity, you will find it next to impossible to share the sofa with an adult German Shepard. He will take up most of the room! However a smaller dog will not take as much room as an adult. Please think about the consequences before you allow your puppy to do certain things as once a behavior is learned it is hard to get them to stop and do things differently..

If your yard is fenced in you can leave the puppy or adult dog to enjoy the run of the yard. Remember to watch them carefully if it is very hot. They can get dehydrated easily in hot weather. If you choose to walk your pet please remember to keep them safe and comfortable. I suggest buying doggie shoes if you will be walking them on a very hot day on asphalt or cement or even sand. Temperatures on these places can soar high enough to burn the pads on our pet’s feet. Keep them on a leash and I prefer a harness. Remember to carry plastic bags and pick up anything your dog leaves on a beach, or on a sidewalk or on a neighbor’s grass.

Your dog will give you years of love and attention. They are wonderful companions and surely are members of our families.