Getting a new puppy can be a very fun and exciting time for a family. After all, who doesn’t like a puppy? Unfortunately, the answer to that could be napping in your living room as you read this article. The answer is your current pets.

Puppies are full of energy and if you haven’t already, you soon will figure out that they can be super annoying. Puppies spend their days playing by jumping, biting, and tackling relentlessly. It’s normal, but it can be too much for your resident pets to handle. Your cats or older dogs probably long for the days when they could go about their lives without being accosted by a puppy-sized tornado. Before you place that ad to re-home Fido, there are steps you can take to keep the peace among your pets and retain your sanity.

W-Gracie MugshotThere are three parts to this plan:

1. Prevent the problem. Physically prevent your puppy from bothering the other animals when you’re not available to train and supervise. Confine him to a crate or another part of the house away from your other pets.

2. Wear the puppy out. A tired puppy is a less-annoying puppy. Even small breed puppies are full of energy and can benefit from some extra exercise or play time.

3. Finally, train the puppy. Teach him appropriate ways to behave around the other pets. Most puppies have pretty good manners and can exist with other animals by the time they are old enough to leave the litter, but sometimes additional training is needed. Think of your puppy as a young child starting school for the first time. Some kids jump right in and have no problems while some need additional help.

You can help your puppy to behave by, first of all, physically preventing him from getting a chance to chomp on your other pets. When you can’t directly supervise and train good play habits, he needs to be kept separate from them. Why? Because tackling and biting the cat or older dog is a ton of fun. It’s naturally reinforcing. The more the puppy does it, the more fun he has, the more he gets reinforced, the more likely he is to do it again next time. Basically, the more you allow this habit to happen, the harder it will be to get it to stop.

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