“Watch out! Here comes the devil…,” Riya yelled across the corridor as her sprightly 4-month-old puppy came dashing out of the room with a tiny cushion in its mouth. This was too much to bear for her.

She had always taken immense pride in keeping her home in a perfect condition. Everything in its place, neatly kept and maintained. The floor was spic and span and you couldn’t spot even a speck of dust. She ran a tight ship and everyone played their part to the letter.

Yet, these past two months had been nothing short of devastating. She had given in to the pleas of her children and after much negotiating, had finally allowed a little puppy to become a part of the household.

“I don’t want any dirt in the house, and everyone will need to pitch in to walk the baby, feed it and look after it.” Of course, everyone agreed and the first one month was relatively smooth.

However, the children then got busy with their studies and social life and now it was all up to her to not only look after the food, walk and general health of the puppy but also to train it.

Though she loved dogs, her patience started to run thin when the little rascal decided to take bites out of her indoor plants and her cushions.

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The little one was teething, she realised, and she tried all possible ways to get it to stick to the teethers rather than attack her precious home.

One day, while she was trying to train the puppy, her friend and neighbour, Mansi, walked in. Mansi was an avid dog lover and owned two rescue dogs.

So, when she saw Riya struggling with the furry devil, Mansi couldn’t help but burst out laughing. Riya was offended at first but noticed that Mansi was the best bet to help her out.

“How do I get Buster to stay away from my cushions and plants, Mansi? I’m really fed up,” Riya cried out.

Mansi came and sat down beside her friend and said, “Okay, now that Buster is 4 months old, it’s time you started disciplining him. I will show you some simple ways to do it but you must be strict and consistent.”

Riya was happy to oblige. Mansi advised the following:

  1. Be firm in your commands.
  2. Always have a treat ready. It need not be a big thing, take doggy biscuits and break them into little pieces and use these as rewards.
  3. Be patient and consistent. Don’t give in one day and expect your dog to understand when you are firm another day.
  4. Invest in good quality, dog-safe chew toys and use them to play with your puppy. He will understand and associate good playing with the toy thereby leaving your precious home décor alone.

Riya has been following the tips for the past two weeks and she can’t believe the change in Buster. The puppy is in all smiles and house is also spic and span once again and all is well in the Tandon household.

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