Whether you have a puppy, a rescue dog or just re-educating your pooch, training your pooch can be difficult. So how do you help your furry pal to make progress?  By removing tempting stimuli and ensuring your house is dog proofed. Below are 5 easy ways to help this happen.

1. Baby proof the house.

The same devices that help our children—help our animals. After all, our animals are perpetual toddlers never outgrowing their ability to find trouble and be driven by their senses. A door latch keeps your baby out and can help a smart dog keep out of trouble too.

2. Get a good trash can!

Don’t make it an open trash can or hide it behind a door (dogs can learn to open doors believe it or not), just get a good trash can with a latch. Though the idea of latching and unlatching a trash can to throw out trash sounds tedious; it’s not. You just have to find the right one, but a latch is necessary; especially if your dog has a habit of going into the trash. Even steel trash cans with a top are not dog proof! On three different occasions, I bought three different styles with different types of tops to try to keep out my food motivated puggle —- big mistake. All I got was an eyesore! She spent hours scratching at the metal to topple over the trash can and the garbage just poured out when she succeeded.  Instead, I recommend tough plastic trash can with a strong latch. My preference is:  Even after YEARS of use it is still standing strong! You can find them at Bed Bath and Beyond or even online: Simple Human Trash Can

3. Close the doors!

Sounds obvious but it’s not something that always comes straight to mind, but it’s really effective. We are blessed to have many doors in our home (even between big areas like our living room and dining room) that help us compartmentalize areas. So if we leave any dogs home while we are out (which is extremely rare)—we can separate them or keep the ‘sneaky’ dogs out of the kitchen to not cause any ruckus.

4. De-Clutter.

What a good catalyst for spring cleaning; making sure your dog is safe. Just take a moment and look around your home and anything the size of a ball or smaller should definitely be out of plain view and definitely not on the floor. Make it a point to every 3 months go through all your old clothes, old appliances, and scraps around the house. It’s pretty crazy how quickly we accumulate stuff- whether bought of given—and each thing give is one more thing for your pup to get into. Some dogs don’t know the difference in texture between your fuzzy slippers and their new Pet Smart toy so try to minimize the damage to your stuff by decluttering.

5. Create a specific play area for your dog

Dogs are creatures of habit so if you teach your dog that there is one area in specific for playing, with all their toys (AND you accompany them to that area when you play with them) they will get used to playing there. Our Brittany spaniel rarely wants us to play with him or bring us toys in the office, guest rooms, etc. Instead, we but a bucket of toys in our family and he barks at us to come to him to play.