Peggy (a spoo) will be 6 months old when the Christmas tree and decorations go up. I'm torn between committing to keeping her tethered at all times when she's not in her (centrally located) exercise pen, or just keeping the festive stuff out of reach.
The latter would be VERY difficult, especially the Christmas tree with all its tempting gift wrap and ornaments. And we have so many priceless sentimental items. But is 6 months too old to keep a puppy tethered?
Currently she's penned, tethered, or on the couch with us about 95% of the time we're at home, but in the past couple of weeks we've been increasing her freedom to move about the main living spaces. (The bedrooms are still off-limits without close supervision.)
Ahhhh! I definitely can't do no Christmas tree. But I'm realizing I'm going to have to be a bit flexible this year.
I like the thought of Christmas gifts on a mantle. We don't have a fireplace, but we do have a high, spacious ledge above our dining table that's an under-used focal point. We never could quite figure out what to put up there, so presents are perfect!
And I'll make sure sentimental items are out of reach. Funny enough, some of them have teethmarks from my childhood puppy! That's part of what makes them so precious.
I did consider penning in the tree, but then I wouldn't have the pen for her anymore, and I suspect we'll still be needing it, at least sometimes. Otherwise I never get a break from puppy watch.
I gated off the room we have the tree in. Peggy is bigger than my boys, of course, and don't know your layout, but getting some baby gates may work for you.
I never tethered because, well, two puppies lol. I used gates and expanded their territory as they proved reliable. I probably would have given them full downstairs access around 7 months old (late November) but for the holidays. After the tree was down, so were the gates on the main floor. The upstairs was also opened to them in increments. I just kept moving the gates til there were none.
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Last Christmas our pup was 6 months old. We also had my daughter's cat visiting and we faced the Christmas tree dilemma. We had our tree, no major mishaps though neither pup or cat were left unsupervised in the rooms with trees. The presents under the tree attracted the puppy's (Finn) attention and he carried several small gifts carefully away. Though he was good at bringing them back. When he managed to locate one of his own gifts I watched to see what he would do. He carefully peeled away the paper from his Kong ball...we were all amazed by his restraint. This year we have our second puppy Eden who will be 11 months old in the mix. Now he's a different kettle of fish...I'm expecting drama with the tree as he likes to get into everything. We'll be going with close supervision and a bit of tethering to us if we need it. I guess what I'm trying to say is it's very definitely down to the pup. You know if she's laid back or bouncy. By the way mine are both minis so size would come into it as your girl is a standard.
Enjoy Christmas, all the ornaments we gather over a lifetime do make our trees special and bring back so many memories. Those ones I treasure I keep up out of reach...and hopefully out off the pups reach. Though your pups reach is definitely greater than mine .
I would keep everything Christmas related up high and away from Peggy. You want to set her up for success. Christmas is such an exciting, busy time that it’s easy to forget about Peggy for a second, just one second is enough time for her to get into some trouble. Trouble could be anything from disrupting a nice arrangement of presents to ripping them open and damaging gifts to eating some inappropriate. There’s novel scents associated with the holidays too, such as fresh tree, maybe perfume and cookies. Lots of high emotions from opening gifts, family visitors etc. No need to add more stress to a busy holiday season. Keep it simple and keep everything out of reach. A small tree on a table decorated with safe decorations. Precious and fragile decorations either stored away for next year or displayed high on book shelves, perhaps hung from string tethered to pictures hooks, or curtain rods etc. You can have a lot of fun figuring out new ways to decorate this year.
Make this a worry-free, positive experience for Peggy and hopefully next year she will be mature enough so you’ll can go back to your normal routine.
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I’m pondering the same issue. Gracie at 10 months does have full reign of the house except when we’re not home, but I’m still careful with what I leave within reach. The temptation of a Christmas tree is too much. Just last week I left my glasses on the coffee table, and she chewed the end of the frames. My fault, I know she is drawn to them. I’ve started ordering glasses online, so thankfully, they were just a $25 pair, and just a couple quick clicks to replace them. I ordered an extra, lol!
We have an upstairs loft that is open to the downstairs living area, and I’m going to put the tree up there with a baby gate at the stairs. That way we can still see it from the living room and kitchen. We’ll see where she is at next year.
Let us know what you decide. These puppies keep us on our toes!
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