Friday, January 27, 2012

No more puppy proofing

Our house is properly dog proofed all the time- but up until yesterday it had added levels of puppy proofing.  I am proud to announce all extra layers of puppy barriers have been removed.

When Kerrigan was 12 weeks old we had two gates keeping her in the living room, a 9 inch tall small animal pen discouraging her from crawling behind the TV and another 9 inch tall pen keeping her out of the computer room but allowing Copley to jump it for access to the rest of the house.

The final piece of puppy proofing was one of said small animal pens keeping her out of the kitchen.  The dogs are not allowed in the kitchen at all.  We have taught them that there is an invisible barrier where the carpet meets the tile and they are not to cross it.  Copley takes this rule so seriously that he could be chasing a toy full out and stop immediately if it bounces into the kitchen, only to stare longingly at it from the threshold of the living room.

We enforce this rule for two main reasons.  First thing is that when someone is cooking it could be very dangerous in the kitchen.  Ovens open, sharp knives in the dishwasher, hot oil on the stove; it is no place for a dog.  The other reason is that dogs appreciate rules.  Having the kitchen there gives them some mental stimulation.  I do like that they can't just run around the downstairs without any regard for where they are going, they have to always think "this is my area- this is not- lets stay a little aware of where we are while we wrestle."

Kerrigan has been working on following this rule and was doing very well.  The pen was there just to help remind her not to go in there when I was not directly watching her.  It would have been impossible to teach her to stay out if she could just run in and out when I was not watching.  Finally yesterday we decided she was mature enough to behave without the pen and we were right.  It has now been two days and she has only had a few minor slip ups of a paw on the tile here or there.  She totally gets it and respects the invisible barrier.  Best of all I can stop tripping on that darn thing every time I walk out of the kitchen!

For a 6 month old puppy she really is doing very well.  I can't believe only three months ago she was this tiny little puppy who could really only be trusted in this pen.

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