Q: My spouse and I are in a four-legged standoff. He wants a pup since, “Puppies! I didt since we just decorated our wonderful Cobble Hill apartment. I can already see a pup turning the wood legs of the coffee table into his favorite chew toy. And what about our poor sisal rug? My partner insists that individuals with dogs have nice furniture, and ours will survive if we train our puppy. I’m not so sure. Who’s correct ?

A: A puppy can certainly ruin a set of couch cushions in minutes. But as your spouse points out, people with fine furniture do have dogs. So how do they do it? By placing — and sticking to — rules about how and where their pet can roam till it’s old enough to be trustworthy.

Prior to bringing a puppy home, you and your spouse need to agree on how you would secure your nice stuff. “It’s not just about training a puppy, it’s about getting everybody on board,” stated Andrea Arden, a dog trainer in Manhattan.

If you don’t want pee stains on the sisal rug, don’t provide an chance to go there. Roll up the rug until the dog is sufficiently housebroken or keep it off it constantly. The same goes for all the living room furniture — if the pup doesn’t have access to the coffee table legs, it can ’t chew them.


Crate the puppy when you can ’t supervise it, and use baby gates or pens to limit where it can roam. At other times, keep it on a leash in the apartment so it’s always within arm’s length.

Management is, in the simplest terms, about placing the puppy up for success by doing everything you can to prevent predictable errors, Ms. Arden said. “Until I believed that this pup has great chew-toy customs, I’m not going to give them access to areas of my home where they could do damage. ”

Finally a dog will be reliable enough to sit in your living room. You might even trust it on your sofa. Or, you may want a puppy that never sits on individual furniture. And that’s OK. Just set the rule immediately, and after the dog is allowed in the living area, train it to relax at your feet.

If all this corralling feels like a burden, consider adopting an adult dog instead. Its not like youre going for an adult dog whos going to be like Lassie, Ms. Arden said but generally speaking, getting an adult dog can be less taxing on your furnishing. ” Maybe less taxing on your relationship, too.

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