Join Date: Jun 2010
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You have gotten excellent advice from everyone here. This REALLY is normal - and a baby puppy is not what an adult dog is. They are discovering new things everyday and just like babies, they need to be watched every second.
First off - do yourself a favour and puppy-proof the area where he is allowed to be out. That should be an area where you can constantly watch him. If he can't be watched, for even a minute, he should be in the crate. Use baby gates and x-pens. Lift rugs, no shoes on the floor, no tea towels hanging, maybe the toilet paper is off the holder and on the vanity, no waste paper baskets he can get into, no TV clicker, no magazines, nothing. Yes, it's a pain for a few months, but if your pup doesn't learn to steal and chew, he won't steal and chew as an adult.
This will make life easier. Then... you need to teach him how to be a good dog. Again, just like kids. They need to be taught right from wrong, so do puppies. With patience and consistency.
I agree - structure is everything for a puppy. It gives them security, and they begin to learn what is expected of them. For sure, get that poor guy outside. He needs to see the world, play in snow, etc. He will not be too cold. Dress well, get your kids to dress well, and head out with him. You will find out it is SO fun.
Finally, puppy training is a lot of work. Sort of 24-7, for about a year. At one point when my dog was about 5 months old, I felt like our walks were just exercises in me saying "drop it, leave it, leave it, drop it." I would treat, I would pull stuff out of her mouth, treat... it was constant. But it pays off. All of this pays off. Really.