I imagine that the vast majority of books written about puppyhood use some variation of the phrase, “a tired puppy is a good puppy.”
There’s a good reason for that: it’s true!
Tired puppies are much less likely to get into trouble, because they simply don’t have the energy for it. If you play fetch until your little pup can barely hold his eyes open, chances are, your shoes are safe for the next few hours.
Sometimes, wearing a puppy out can feel like a daunting task, especially if the weather outside isn’t the most welcoming. Here are a few suggestions for indoor activities to help encourage some long puppy naps:
- Obedience – Yes, you read that correctly. Start working on obedience! I don’t care if it’s day one and your puppy is only 7 weeks old – get started! The earlier you begin teaching basic obedience commands and manners, the better off you will be in the future. “Sit” is a great place to start because most puppies will naturally fall into a sit if you hold ANYTHING of interest over their heads.
- Handling Exercises – Practice handling your puppy so that future visits to the veterinarian and groomer are pleasant and stress-free experiences. You may be surprised at just how much effort is required for a puppy to hold still long enough to have all of his toes touched!
- Toys – Make sure your puppy has several appropriate toys to play with, and encourage appropriate playtime! Play fetch, tug on a rope, chew on a bone – but make sure that ALL of those “toys” came from the pet aisle. Don’t set your puppy up for trouble by encouraging playtime with socks, shoes, children’s toys, or other household items that you don’t want chewed up in the future.
All of these activities should be fun in and of themselves, but sometimes, the best part is the long puppy nap that comes afterwards! (But don’t forget, as soon as that puppy wakes up, take him outside for a bathroom break!)