Keeping puppy confined to an area of your home is a good way to keep him from chewing on electrical cords or swallowing harmful things. That doesn't mean Rover always should be locked away. It's important to find middle ground so you have a well-rounded puppy who knows the rules.
Puppies can get into trouble easily -- especially when they're very young and not aware of what's dangerous and what isn't. Keeping them confined to a certain area of the house makes it easier to keep them safe than if you give them full run of the house. For example, the bathroom and the kitchen can harbor many dangers in the form of chemicals, utensils and even dangerous foods, so it's best not to give your pup free access to those areas unless you're keeping a constant watch over him. Instead, pick a room -- such as the laundry room or a spare bedroom -- that you can make puppy-safe and use a baby gate to keep the pup contained when you can't keep an eye on him.
According to Canis Major, giving your dog free run of the house makes it more likely he'll have accidents when you're going through the housebreaking process. If you have carpeting or hardwood floors, this could be quite damaging -- not just to the floors but also to your wallet. Keeping him confined to a certain area might make the housebreaking process easier too, because puppies don't like to go to the bathroom where they eat or sleep. Using a small area as the living premises might encourage him to hold it for longer periods of time.
Confining the puppy overnight is especially important for safety reasons. You certainly don't want the puppy roaming around in the dark. Also, the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers points out that puppies have very small bladders, so they will need to relieve themselves throughout the night. If you give them free run of the house, they'll find a place to do it. If you confine them at night, they're more likely to wake you up and ask to be taken outside, which is essential to start learning when and where to go to the bathroom.
When You're Home
Pups should not be confined to a section of the house all the time. After all, they need to become part of the family and that's not going to happen if they're always locked away from the humans in the home. So when you're home and you can keep an eye on him, let the pup run free. This is a good time to teach him proper behavior, such as teaching him "leave it" if he tries to chew on the coffee table or dig into the flower bed.
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.