Let us take a moment to visualize. You have recently gotten a dog, a young puppy perhaps who is approximately ten weeks old. Very young and easily impressionable at this point, they must be left at home for about 9 hours each day by the time you add up your 8 hour work day, plus 1 hour of total driving time to and from work.
Deciding the best place to leave your dog during the day is in the kitchen, which you have blocked off with various objects, either a door or perhaps using a baby gate to confine the pooch to the kitchen. You leave feeling confident that when you arrive, the kitchen will still be spotless with no mess, after all, you left some newspapers or a puppy pad down for the potty breaks, and left some food and water and a dog bed for your pet to use while you are gone.
Puppies Trashing Your House
Come back 9 hours later. Your kitchen looks like a national disaster has struck that makes a hurricane look like a walk in the park. There is trash on the floor, piles of stool everywhere, puddles everywhere from your puppy not using the pad or newspaper. Aside from that puppy has decided that chewing on the legs of your kitchen table and chairs was their favorite activity of the day and now you need to have them repaired to preserve the furniture from being completely ruined.
Does this sound vaguely familiar? I am sure to many it does. What comes next is the part where the owner uses either positive or punishment training. Which method you use often depends upon how you were taught, those who were taught punishment training when they were a child are more likely to revert to this method and have a tough time breaking that habit. Those who were taught positive methods are more likely to use their positive training and have a good learning experience from this. In the meantime, looking around the kitchen, who is responsible for the mess in the kitchen? You or the puppy?
If you guessed puppy you are very wrong; it is your responsibility to provide the puppy with proper supervision and plenty of toys to keep them occupied and out of trouble. How you react when you arrive home to such a mess can have a significant impact on the relationship between you and your pet. For example, if every day you come home you walk into a mess and react badly by hitting and punishing your dog, they will quickly learn to run from you when you come back.
If you use positive reinforcement, which means you would remove your puppy from the room and clean up the mess. The next day before you left for work you would arrange plenty of toys to keep your puppy entertained, as well as mentally stimulated so that your furniture is not a victim again the next day. Positive training would also include arranging for someone to come and let your puppy go for a walk and get out of the house for a while before you come home so that they have a nice break.
The difference in the positive method compared to the punishment method is your pet begins to learn what behavior is acceptable, instead of learning to run and hide from you when you return home. You do not want your pet running and hiding from you; this will not break the bad behavior that the pets are engaging in. Preferably, you want to encourage the good behavior your pet is involved in so that the good behavior will come far outweigh the bad behavior and become a thing of the past after a while.