Trainer reveals the biggest mistake we make with puppies and what to do instead

puppy sleeping
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you’ve just welcomed a new bundle of fluff into your family - congratulations! Puppies can infuse our lives with so much laughter, love, joy and affection, but there’s no denying that their first year of life can bring with it several challenges.

Many pet parents report experiencing the dreaded puppy blues due to issues with excessive barking, toilet training, destructive behavior and lack of sleep. However, according to expert trainer Adam Spivey, a lot of the problems we face when our puppies are young could be prevented by avoiding one common mistake.

So, what exactly is that mistake? Well, according to Spivey, it all comes down to how you put your puppy down for a nap and the environment you create for them while they’re resting. You can watch his Instagram video below or read on for a summary of everything you need to know.

“A big mistake we make with puppies is that when we put the puppy down for a nap, we go quiet,” Spivey explains. We don’t bang around, we don’t do any housework, or anything like that because we’re afraid we’re going to wake the puppy up.”

Spivey says this is a huge mistake that can cause long-term behavioral issues down the line because when a puppy grows into an adult dog, they haven’t been exposed to a lot of the noises they’re going to need to be able to tolerate.

“What we end up doing is creating very sound-sensitive dogs. So if a bang does go off or you start doing the housework, your puppy freaks out. This can transpire over to thunderstorms, fireworks and things like that. 

The best time to do your housework is once you’ve tired the puppy out, put the puppy down in the crate for a nap and then crack about your business. Do the housework, do the washing, do the vacuuming, do the mopping. Don’t be quiet. We want to teach puppies to sleep through noise so when your puppy is asleep, carry on as normal.”

Looking for more great content to help you navigate the first year of your puppy's life? Then be sure to check out our guide to bringing home a puppy for the first time.

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.