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How have you done it?

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.)
 

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We did no big Christmas tree each of the years there were pups. We put other decorations that could remain out of reach.
 

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Same here - everything up and out of reach when there are puppies in the house!
 

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Bunch of ideas...

How about a tree inside an exercise pen? Until this week when I reorganized, I had half a room blocked off with an exercise pen.

How set in stone is your tree location? Could it move somewhere with a door?

We once put the tree on top of a table to keep it out of reach of puppies.

Could presents be piled on a mantle?

My grandpa used to tie his tree to a hook in the ceiling to keep it from being knocked over.

My dad's cat LOVES Christmas trees. We use all unbreakable ornaments on the lower 2 feet so she can stealthily remove them and bat them around at her pleasure.

Gift wrap aside, I'd be looking for a tall shelf for sentimental items.
 

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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.
 

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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 .
 

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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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At our house, it's not Christmas until someone knocks over the tree. We have artificial trees for a reason. We set it up and wait for one of the cats or a dog to knock it down. It's just part of our celebration. We never put anything fragile or sentimental on the tree for a reason. It's going down. And we're going to laugh. One year, we had two kittens. There was no point in having a decorated tree. So, we set it up, didn't decorate it, never plugged it in, and let them go at it. It was hilarious. They destroyed it. Our tree keeps getting smaller and smaller every year.

Now, assuming you are a normal family, and not nutty like us, putting the tree in a corner with baby gates around it is an option. Keep anything you would cry over high and out of reach. Limit access to the room with the tree with baby gates. And start training "leave it."

 

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I pondered this issue too since around Christmas he will be 9 months old... but I pondered for one second and realized its not worth it!!! We are lucky to where we have an upstairs and downstairs. We decided to just put our tree upstairs in our front window. Norman is never upstairs alone and we keep the door always shut.

I love Christmas and the beautiful decorations... and I love even more when they are in one piece and not torn up! I know Norman too well.... when mom is not home, the tree, gifts, decorations would be a tasty treat for him!! LOL! He would be a good angel when I am around but a sneaky devil when I am not.

I would decorate maybe in certain rooms that you can watch her in and shes never left alone in. Seems that she is always by your side so that is a plus!! You can monitor with all the new decorations and use it as training for "Leave it!"
 

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Luckily, we've started working on the foundation for leave-it at puppy class. And my husband is diligent about trading any item Peggy picks up on a walk with something tasty. That won't help if it's too small to visibly stick out of her mouth, though. I can just imagine her innocently sitting in the living room with us, a treasured ornament in her mouth and all of us oblivious.

I'm accepting it won't be a traditional Christmas and reading through all your great suggestions. Thank you!! It really is important to "set her up for success."

Right now I'm thinking a second x-pen that we can use to barricade the tree will be essential for our home's layout (and our sanity). It's something we'll probably use for a couple of years, so we'll get our money's worth. And it can be used as an extender for our current pen the rest of the time, which will be useful.

I'm remembering the early years with my mini mix now and laughing. At a year old, she peed under the Christmas tree. At two years, she carefully unwrapped EVERY SINGLE PRESENT while I was out for dinner with friends. Didn't damage any of them, thankfully. But that second round of wrapping was much less festive feeling than the first.

After that year, I could trust her completely. But....it's a journey ?
 

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I forgot to mention that the next year, I put the tree up in stages, to see how interested they were and let them get used to it. I probably could have done this the year before but didn't think of it.

The tree went up without embellishment Thanksgiving week. After a few days of nonchalance, the lights went up. Still not particularly interested in it. A couple of days later, the garlands and no ill effects. Finally I put the glass (!) ornaments up, leaving nose level branches ornament free. Success!

Granted they were by then over a year and a half, but I'm pretty sure we would have been ok at the 7 month mark.

Click, may I come to your house for the Annual Christmas Tree Crash? It sounds so very festive!

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Bitter apple spray on the nose and mouth level branches might be an additional deterrent. I don't think I did that with our tree, but it does work for my boys.

Merry Christmas Adventures!
 
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Late to this thread, but these are funny stories and photos. The peeing under the Christmas tree is the kind of "oh no!" moment had me laughing, along with others.

I have a beautiful, table top sized Nativity scene, which I keep up high enough that my poodles can't turn Baby Jesus into a toy.

For a tree substitute, I use my festive, light up, outdoor Christmas Snoopy & Woodstock lawn ornament. It's only about 3 feet tall and from the days before the kids left the nest and I downsized from a house to an apartment.

It's tacky and unconventional, but it puts a smile on my face as I remember my kids having snowball fights outside. Plus: it's indestructible for poodles.
 

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That sounds really cute, Vita!

And OF COURSE Peggy likes the taste of bitter apple, Rose n Poos. LOL. So very Peggy of her.

Luckily, she still seems mostly unconcerned with the tree, but maybe she's just lulling us into a false sense of security? Poodles are all about the long con!

What's worrying me most is I'd forgotten how much random stuff ends up on the floor as you decorate: A spare lightbulb or fuse. Ornament hangers. Tiny bows for the tree.

Ever since the THIRD scrunchie-eating incident, my puppy-proofing confidence has been shaken, so I'm working myself into a frenzy, trying to keep everything organized and contained.

Needless to say, decorating is taking a little longer than usual!!

One thing I'm doing differently this year, which other puppy owners might want to try: I removed all the knick-knacks from our glass-door bookcases and other puppy-proofed areas, and will be replacing them with festive items for the season. I'll just store our everyday decor in the Christmas bins until I'm ready to swap again.

This has been much easier than finding new safe spots for everything.
 
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