We already have discussed housebreaking or training the dog to be a gentleman in regard to the “restroom.” We consider now his general behavior in the home, assuming that the dog is to be quartered in it rather than under the porch, in the garage or in his own doghouse.
When a puppy first comes to his new home, let him walk about a little. Then feed him some milk and bread crust.
Now comes the important thing. Everyone wants to handle him and play with him. Have that person who is to be his “lord and master,” handle him chiefly. Do not play overly with him. He is tired, frightened and homesick. Let him sleep and rest in the spot to be his own permanent quarters. He will bark and whine for a day or so, but forbear. He is a stranger in a strange land. After a few days, he will own the (louse and everyone in it.
If he is a grown dog when he is obtained, walk with him on the lead thru every room in the house, play the piano, open and close doors, and show him everything to be seen. Then repeat this, with the dog not on the lead. If the puppy is unaccustomed to collar and lead, place him in every room and corner and with a few moments of leisurely time in each.
Dogs become homesick. Chows particularly will pout for days, even refusing for a week to eat. Ask the former master to send along a ball or rug or some article which the dog claims as his own and which carries a familiar scent.
The next part of his home training is to inform him of his headquarters. One certain place is to be assigned to him and there he must always rest and sleep. For the first few nights, tie him in this place, give him his bed and soon he will fight to prevent it being taken from him. If one soft chair is to be his, let him have none other.
On the first night the puppy may whine and bark until the whole family, vainly trying to fall asleep, mutters from every bedroom, “Quiet that puppy-slap the brat-who ever brot that thing into the house anyhow?”
These complaining folks,-and rightly complaining-have forgotten what bawling brats they may have been at the tender wailing age of six months. But no one, not even the whimpering puppy, is to be condemned.
Patience and understanding are in order. The crying of the puppy arises out of homesickness, loneliness, and the absence of the soft warm bed its mother’s body supplied.
The puppy,-but mind you, just for the first or second night-can sleep on the foot of the bed. Or it can be placed in the partly open laundry basket, where it cries itself to sleep. Place a ticking alarm clock alongside the puppy-strangely, in many cases, the noise quiets the puppy.
He discovers soon the softest cushions and the easiest chair. The moment he is found there, a stern command and a slap on the back, will get him away quickly. But the mistake is made in permitting exceptions; today you chase him off; tonight, in good mood, you permit him to remain there; future disobedience is upon your own head.
The chief crime of the dog is to chew and thus destroy articles in the home. Puppies, especially in teething periods (five to six months of age) gnaw constantly. Rugs, curtains, shoes and clothing are attacked constantly and furiously. The puppy presents a difficult case; he must chew; he must exercise his jaws; he must develop his gums. Chewing gives him exquisite pleasure. Give him some pieces of hardwood free from splinters, large rubber balls, imitation rubber bones, or rag dolls. A stuffed stocking is ideal plaything. Do not give him an old shoe; to him new and old are alike, so that later you may find your best pair badly chewed. Articles should be far too large to be swallowed. Rubber balls should be untearable, else he will eat parts and become deathly ill.
The older dog, caught in the act, can be punished to his reform; the puppy forgets the punishment, altho repeated punishment will make him careful.
Sprinkle a solution of nicotine sulpbate (tobacco dust), snuff, pepper, dry mustard, or syrup of ipecac on articles the dog or puppy might chew. Either the taste or the smell is abhorred by the dog. Or a set mousetrap can be placed on the article to be avoided.
When the dog is caught in the act, punish him with a slap that smarts. He will in time associate chewing articles in the house with the idea in his mind-“it hurts.”