Safety first

By Jennifer Stoeckl, MAT - Dire Wolf Project CEO, March 3, 2023
puppy staying safe in his outdoor surroundings

Your new American Dirus dog or puppy must rely entirely on you to keep it safe.

How are you going to keep your beautiful new addition to the family safe from all harm?

Can you think of one word that encompasses everything you need to keep your new pet safe?

The answer might not be what you want to hear.

When you see the word, you might shutter as little pin pricks cascade down your arm.

But it is a pro tip that if you have the courage to utilize, will allow you to be almost worry free about your new furry companion’s safety.






Yep… I said it.

The one word that encompasses everything you need to keep your dog away from harm’s way is containment.

Especially when it first arrives home.

Without an anchor in a foreign land, your new companion dog must look to you for direction, guidance, and security.

If you allow your new American Dirus dog to learn on its own how to make it in this unfamiliar environment without any boundaries, it will feel confused and afraid. It might begin to make up its own rules for how to be… and do you think your new puppy understands what things in this completely new environment could harm it? Having never seen a computer cord, a glass vase on a coffee table, a busy street, a hot stove, or the steep cliff behind your house, it might have to learn the hard way without the structure it needs to learn right from wrong.

You are your dog’s caregiver. It is up to you.

Keep your dog safe by containing it in areas that are puppy proof.

In order to be 100% safe, your new dog or puppy must be 100% contained.

Therm’s the breaks, kid.

If you compromise on containment because it’s easier, then you automatically compromise on safety.

It is a reciprocal relationship.

Now, you might be able to get away with it, and many do, but it is a risk you have to be willing to take.

And now that you know, how do you implement this strange containment thing?

I can hear some of you out there groaning in reply, “Surely, you don’t mean my new dog can never run around on its own! That would be crazy!”

That’s exactly what I mean… unless you want to assume the risk of your new dog getting harmed, that is.

In my profession, I have seen it all.

Dogs running away in fear lost in the woods and swamps.

Puppies falling down a ravine becoming paralyzed for life.

Dogs eating a bowl of chocolate and having to rush to the emergency room for a stomach pump.

Dogs running into the street and getting run over.

Dogs getting mauled by another dog before the owner could get to it.

And the list could go on!

Not only is containment great for your new fluffy soul’s safety, but it is an excellent way to establish the requirement for your dog to communicate with you.

Should it sit nicely to get your attention or do you require it to bark or whine to get your attention!? Should it potty in it’s contained space or tell you it needs to go out?

Containment is a must in one form or another.

But if you were only thinking of crate training, there is much more to it than that.

Containment doesn’t only consist of a crate.

In fact, there are five different ways to contain your new dog. Mix and match them to fit your lifestyle. But whatever you do… for goodness’ sake… use containment 100% of the time.

  • Leash/tether
  • Exercise pen
  • Crate
  • Gate/partition
  • Fencing

And… I hereby give you permission to use a leash in the house. You can and should when you are wanting to be with your puppy, but don’t want it in the x-pen on the other side of the room.

If this was helpful for you, the DireWolf Guardian Philosophy book is full of the fundamental philosophical dog training aspects needed to understand how to train the world’s first large breed companion dog.

It is meant for new American Dirus dog owners who want to understand the best way to communicate and develop that all-important bond in our dogs.

It is not a step-by-step training guide.

It doesn’t teach you basic obedience. (There are hundreds of books out there for that.)

What it does explain, using stories to illustrate the underlying concept, is how to bridge the gap between species communication break downs.

It develops your “canine as a second language” skills.

And it explains how to create that bond you sought when you came to the Dire Wolf Project for your next four-legged friend.

You cannot get this book on Amazon.

In fact, it isn’t sold in anywhere stores.

You can only receive a copy of this foundational “companion dog 101” dog training book from the Dire Wolf Project.

If you want me to sent you a copy, send $38 to Venmo or PayPal @direwolfdogs. Include your address in the notes section so I know where to send it.

But we only have ten copies available at this time, so grab your copy while supplies last.

When we run out, we will reorder, but printing/shipment takes at least a month.

That’s it for now. Let’s get together again next week for another fun chat.


Jennifer Stoeckl is the co-founder of the Dire Wolf Project, founder of the DireWolf Guardians American Dirus Dog Training Program, and owner/operator of DireWolf Dogs of Vallecito. She lives in the beautiful inland northwest among the Ponderosa pine forests with her pack of American Dirus dogs.