Join us in this series, where we follow in the footsteps of our lead trainer and owner Linda Brennen, as she gets her new puppy and experiences all the challenges and joys of adding a new puppy to the family.
As you will find out, getting a new puppy can be a challenge… even for trainers!
View the entire series at HERE
Socializing your Puppy
What is “socialization”? Many people think its about getting puppies around other dogs and other people, which is true. But what it really means is preparing your puppy, in a careful and positive way for all the things he will be exposed to as an adult.
Puppies have a critical socialization period, from about 6-14 weeks of age, when they are forming their impressions of their world. If puppies are exposed to new sights, sounds, surfaces, people, places and animals in a careful and positive way, they will grow up thinking the world is a safe and fun place. If they are not exposed to new situations during this critical period they will grow up thinking the world is a scary and overwhelming place.
How do you socialize a puppy that does not have its shots? There are lots of ways to do this without putting your pup at risk.
I have been taking him to places that I know are safe and where we will not run into unfamiliar dogs. When he is out in public, he is carried so he is not exposed to anything that might be on the ground. His first big outing was to our staff meeting, which is at our trainer Megan’s house. He sat on everyone’s lap and met Megan’s dogs, who we know are great with puppies. They are the adult ambassadors in our Puppy Day School – and they are well trained!
I also took him to two different vets; one was for a checkup and one was just to say hi. I want to help him associate the vet with positive feelings, so I take him for fun visits where he gets lots of snuggles and lots of treats.
We also went to the pet store where I carried him the entire time to minimize his interaction with unknown dogs. I also took him to the bank and the store where we get our marketing supplies. This was a good start for the first week.
We are also paying attention to how he is interacting in the yard and house and how he reacts to new sounds. If he gets startled, we work on building his confidence. I deliberately went to a breeder that created confident puppies, and he is fairly confident. When he is startled by something he recovers quickly. One thing we have found that is puzzling; if a toy rolls against a wall he gets very scared. This is something we will work on, probably next week.
View the entire series at HERE!