When you first get a puppy, it will be a super exciting time that will change your life forever, but one of the most important things to consider is how much freedom to give them. Puppies need plenty of exercise, but you also don’t want them getting into trouble, going missing or getting stolen.
In this article, we will discuss how much freedom your puppy should have and how to provide it safely.
How much freedom should a puppy have?
The best way to give your Puppy as much freedom as possible is to find a balance by gradually increasing their freedom as they get older and more responsible.
If your Puppy is young and isn’t aware of the house rules, or how to behave around other people and animals, then they need less freedom. They will also need to have a sense of the local area before you let them off the lead, as they may not come back to you if they get scared or lost.
Older Puppies who are more confident and have a better understanding of how to behave can be given more freedom. This includes letting them off the lead in safe areas, such as parks and beaches (under your supervision), and gradually increasing the time they spend outside.
Can a Puppy have too much freedom?
Yes, Puppies can have too much freedom, so as a parent, it’s important to find the right balance for your Puppy. If they are constantly getting into mischief or running off, then you need to reduce their freedom, as this could result in them getting lost. Once they have built your trust and developed an understanding that they can’t run off, then you can start to give them more freedom again.
Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a bad experience to teach a Puppy the importance of listening to their owner and staying close by. If your Puppy does run off, never punish them when they come back, as this will only make them scared of you and more likely to run away again. Instead, try to positively reinforce training techniques, such as rewarding them with treats when they stay close or come back to you.
How do I provide my Puppy with freedom safely?
The best way to provide your Puppy with freedom is by gradually increasing their time outside and in new environments. This will help them get used to different sights, smells and sounds, as well as socialising with other dogs and people.
It’s also important for them to get used to the local area, so they know how to find their way home if they ever do run off. A good way to do this is by walking them on a lead in different parts of the neighbourhood, so they can familiarise themselves with the area.
As your Puppy gets older and more confident, you can start to let them off the lead in safe areas, such as parks and beaches. Just make sure you are always keeping an eye on them, as they may not come back to you if they get scared or lost.
I gave my Puppy too much freedom and they are lost – what shall I do?
As crazy as it sounds, try not to panic, this only makes the situation worse. The best thing you can do is to stay calm and start searching straight away, as the sooner you find them the better.
If they are still missing after a few hours, then it’s time to start asking for help from your neighbours, friends and family. You can also put up lost dog posters in your local area and check social media sites, such as Facebook and Gumtree, in case anyone has found them.
You could even write a Facebook post and join some local groups, to make everyone aware that there is a lost puppy in the neighbourhood.
If you still can’t find your Puppy after a couple of hours, then you should contact your local animal shelters and vet clinics, as they may have been handed in or found by someone else.