Your puppy is an adorably curious creature! Unfortunately, at the beginning it’s not in your interest to let her explore because you need to keep an eye on your puppy at all times or else she can get herself in trouble. This is where fenced areas and crate training comes in – it prevents your puppy from going potty in the wrong places.
Let’s start with crate training first. The goal of crate training is two-fold:
1. Puppies (or any other animals for that matter) don’t like to pee where they live. By letting her know that the crate and the area around it is her living space, she will be much less likely to potty there.
2. Reduce puppy stress by giving her a safe place to go. In the future, if you leave the house and your puppy shows signs of separation anxiety, you can put her in the crate and she will feel much more relaxed.
Whenever your puppy goes into her crate, make sure you pet her and give her treats to make her associate the crate as a good, happy place. Do this for at least 3 months to make sure that positive association really sinks in – you’ll be glad you made the effort down the line because it will always be easy to coax her into the crate afterwards.
Also, because curious puppies like to chew, you’ll need to create a fenced off safe area where she can explore. It is best to choose someplace that has a non-carpeted surface to make messes easier to clean because at first your puppy will still make mistakes. This place should be free of any electric wires. As a result, the kitchen or laundry room are good places for your puppy to start off in.
If you live someplace where there’s only carpet, or if you just want the easiest cleanup possible, puppy pads are a great investment as well. They basically function as diapers laid out on the ground so if your puppy makes a mistake you can just change the pad, which will help a lot for your nose and your sanity!
After a month, if your puppy has had an excellent track record of being housebroken, you can slowly let her have more and more freedom in your house by increasing the size of the fenced off area.