Puppies are naturally curious and want to investigate their territory. When favorite humans disappear upstairs, they typically follow. Supervising your puppies at all times and "puppy-proofing" your house can assist you in giving safe boundaries and teaching the house rules to your young, four-legged family members.
Install a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs, providing an immediate boundary. There are various models. Some can be installed into the wall for more permanency, or spring-loaded versions are available that fit snugly between the walls or sides of the staircase to create a barrier.
Avoid taking food upstairs. Unrestrained puppies who do not yet know their boundaries may attempt to follow you or the smells to find the food. If you must eat upstairs, close doors to eliminate any tempting odors.
Don't allow any children to carry or coax the puppies upstairs and begin a bad habit. Supervise the puppies at all times when they are around youngsters to make sure they follow the house rules.
Close all doors upstairs during the day. If the puppies do happen to go upstairs, chances are they will not find anything interesting to encourage them to break the house rules again and return against your wishes.
Contain your puppies to one area of the house -- such as the kitchen or utility room -- and do not allow them to freely roam. They should not have easy access to the stairs, and should be continually supervised until you can start command training and they learn that going upstairs is off limits.
Begin teaching your puppies voice commands, such as "sit" and "stay," even as early as 8 weeks. Make the learning fun and reward them with a treat when they follow instructions, rather than punishment or a harsh voice if they do not listen.
- For proper training, puppies should be on a leash even inside the home. Tether long leashes to furniture to assist in containing them in rooms where you're not using gates.
- When purchasing a baby gate, measure the slat openings to make sure the puppies cannot get their head through and become stuck.
Lori Lapierre holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in public relations/communications. For 17 years, she worked for a Fortune 500 company before purchasing a business and starting a family. She is a regular freelancer for "Living Light News," an award-winning national publication. Her past writing experience includes school news reporting, church drama, in-house business articles and a self-published mystery, "Duty Free Murder."