4 pet-parent tips for common puppy “fur”-pas


Jade Poole from I write words

pet-parent tips

Don’t worry, he’s still a good boy!

Unless you’ve found the dog that’s cracked the code to dog-to-human etiquette, your furry amigo is probably going to need some training here and there. Puppies, like human babies, are not born knowing the difference between good and bad behaviour.

When your dog acts poorly remember it isn’t out of malice but only because human behaviour and animal behaviour are entirely different - there isn’t a moral right or wrong when it comes to your playful pup.

A dog is a product of their environment and when you show them the right way to behave in your home, your dog will do their best to make you happy.

Check it out: what pet insurance is best for my young pet?

The key to effective dog training is identifying bad habits early and nipping them in the bud (like your pup nipping your great uncle on the bud last week). All you need to do is identify and rectify, which really isn’t as hard as you may think.

Why should I train my dog?

Training your dog is not to turn your dog into an obedience-driven robot, but to make sure that you can enjoy your time together safely. An untrained dog is a hazard to you, others and to themselves.

A well-trained dog is a pleasure because we can allow them to enjoy our homes and interact with guests without worrying about damage, embarrassment or worst-case scenario, injury.

Training your dog is also a courtesy to other people and dogs in your area. The more well-trained your doggy is, the more you two can do together!

We thought it would be a good idea to look at some common problematic dog behaviours (that trust us, everybody experiences) and how you can make their behaviour better! Let’s hop on it.

Nipping Hands and Ankles

If your puppy, like most puppies, is a nipper then you’re going to want to nip that in the bud (sorry, we really like that joke). Puppies are exploring the world and their most useful tool? Their mouth. Puppies use their mouths to cure their curiosity, play and get their parents attention. What this often turns into, is a little nipping and biting around your hands and ankles.

Whilst this may seem sweet at first, you don’t want this habit to hang around when the big teeth come in.

What to do

Sometimes it’s in what you don’t do. It may be instinctual, but don’t yank your hand away from your puppy. They do not recognise this as a sign of pain and may become more boisterous now trying to conquer the almighty moving hand. They will respond to a vocal cue. Even if the bite isn’t sore, make a loud noise to let your pup know they have bitten you too hard. This will teach your dog to hold back on the teeth action!

Pssst! Looking after your dog’s teeth from a young age is important - see how Oneplan has you covered for doggie dental care

Getting into the bin

One man's trash is a naughty dog's treasure!

There is nothing more infuriating than coming home to the contents your bin strewn around the garden - except perhaps having to pick it up. Not only is this an awful task, but your rubbish can also be dangerous for your dogs’ health.

What to do

To combat this pet peeve, you’ll be better off using preventative measures rather than changing your dogs’ love of stinky rubbish (dogs will always love stinky rubbish). Keep your bin in a sealed-off area of the home or invest in a bin with a sturdy lid. If you want to keep your dog far away from the garbage, there are dog-repellent sprays (not to repel dogs, but to keep your dog from chewing whatever you spray) or you can buy or take a quick look in the pantry for some baking soda: your dog will recoil at the taste and your rubbish will smell less!

Sniffing House Guests

We get embarrassed just writing about it. For your dog, a sniff of the derrière is the only way to get a thorough introduction to another four-legged friend (or if the sniffing goes badly - foe). It isn’t ideal for human guests, though.

What to do

Fixing this problem comes down to teaching your dog to pause, sit and wait for further instruction from you. This will help with a whole variety of behavioural issues including the nipping that we mentioned earlier.

When a new guest arrives, tell your dog to sit and stay. Then ask for their paw. Once they have done all three, you can give them a treat. This will teach them to be calmer in their approach to meeting new humans.

Digging in the Garden

Oh, the woes of those cute, filthy paws! Your dog spends the majority of its life in your garden and wants to have as much fun in it as they can! They don’t see your neatly organised rows of indigenous plants - they see some flower heads to chew, some bushes to frolic in and some nice new compost to spread around the place.

What to do

This one is about compromise, we’re afraid to say. You need to give your dog the chance to be a dog and get digging - but in their OWN section of the garden. If you have space, lend them a patch of dirt to scratch around in. If you don’t have space, a plastic tub with dirt will make them equally happy. Let them know this is their space by burying their toys and treats to keep them entertained.

Enjoy every moment

Training your dog is going to be more fun than you probably realise and will be a great bonding experience for you both. Look for the best in your hound and the rewards will be endless!

Yours in insurance you could cuddle,


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