Looking at puppies for sale in San Diego is usually exciting for first-time pet owners. There are so many things to look forward to, some more exciting than others, but all of them bringing you and your furry friend ever closer together.
One of the things that many novice dog owners don’t know how to deal with is when their puppy begins to crawl behind or under their sofa. Any number of reasons could cause this, from seeking a convenient spot for relaxing to hiding from something scary.
As your puppy becomes increasingly sensitive to his environment – at around the age of 6 months – he begins to respond differently to fear, aggression, territoriality, and other stimuli. The response may involve hiding and growling.
Here are some reasons why and how to deal with them:
- A comfy spot
Dogs’ instincts draw them to enclosed spaces. So it is possible that your puppy has found a safe and secure place to relax behind your sofa. This is particularly true for small dog breeds. Your puppy may consider the space a haven where he’s unlikely to be accidentally stepped on, disturbed by pesky animals, or can sleep peacefully without your kids pouncing on him.
- Hiding from fear
A new dog or person, a loud bang, or an accident – like getting his paw stepped on – could make your puppy fearful and cause him to hide behind the sofa where no harm will find him. This natural response could develop into a habit if you don’t find ways to eliminate the fears.
- Hiding to escape
It is also possible that your puppy is overwhelmed when adopted to an active household, and needs a kind of sanctuary. The space behind or under the sofa may offer a nice spot that is shielded from light so he can sleep peacefully.
What to do
There is really no harm when your puppy sneaks behind or beneath the sofa for some peace and quiet. But if he’s destructive or at risk of exposed cords, you may want to discourage that behavior. To do this, consider:
- Placing flat storage boxes beneath the sofa so your puppy won’t fit. Fill them up to add weight so he can’t squeeze his way in.
- Getting him a crate so he has his own safe and comfortable resting place in the house. Remember are essentially den animals, and have no problem staying in small spaces provided they’re secure. Choose an adjustable crate that he can use even as he grows.
- Use baby gates to keep your puppy away from the room with the sofa. When you’re not available to watch him, confine him to his crate.
Finally, socialize your puppy to make him less fearful of other pets and strangers. Go for walks and allow him to interact with other dogs and people. At home, try to distract him with a toy or game to make him forget the cause of the fear and keep him from retreating.
It’s another year since you adopted your furry family member. Congratulations on getting this far. For many pet owners, the first year is usually the most challenging as you learn to care for an animal – training, walking and playing, potty training, feeding and diet, socializing, and so many other things. It is an exciting journey, and you can commemorate the achievements of each year with celebration.
Fortunately, you can find most of the things you need from your favorite Escondido pet store. Here are some fun things to consider:
- Plan a dog playdate
After one year, you should have met and befriended a few other dog owners in your neighborhood. Invite your family and friends with dogs for a dog playdate in an area with sufficient outdoor space, such as a dog park or fenced-in yard. You could also meet indoors. The important thing is that you plan the event. Ensure that there are enough games, water, and disposable bags. It’s best that each attendee bring their own treats depending on the likes and health concerns of their pet.
- Organize a party
Your puppy is a true member of your family, and should be appreciated every day, and at least once a year with an overdose of appreciation. Throw your furry family member a party with decorations, plenty of food and games for his guests, and pet-safe party hats. All these items are readily available in your local Escondido pet store. Include a present-giving session – where he receives a new toy or collar. For fun, the guests – human and animal – could stamp their “paws” on a poster board. Make sure to take many photos of the event.
- Go on a trip
If it’s just you and your pet, consider a change of scenery for the day or a couple of days depending on your schedule. You can stay local by visiting a nearby pet-friendly park or a supply store, or consider going a little further like to your parent’s home with a big yard, to the beach, to a pet-friendly hotel, or just a road trip in the country. If you an outdoorsy person, you can take your pet hiking or on a picnic. Do your research when going out in the wild to avoid common dangers.
- Pamper your pet
There are many other activities for the two of you can enjoy. On a hot summer day, set up a sprinkler so your buddy can romp through. On a cold day, give him a fresh, warm blanket – preferably right from the dryer – to curl up with. In addition, you can give him a longer play date than usual, get him some new toys, or go for an extra long walk.
Final Tip: Professional photo session
As your pet’s birthday approaches, find a nearby pet photographer and schedule a birthday portrait session. Print the professional images on mugs, t-shirts, caps, and other items, in addition to creating a photo memory book for your furry family member.