Puppy Socialisation and Training
It is well documented and fully accepted that puppies should not leave their mother and siblings until they are 7/8 weeks old.
To take away a puppy before this time will mean that it has not been with it's mother and siblings for enough time to learn many vital lessons.
It is actually illegal in the UK to sell a puppy under the age of eight weeks.
I believe that needs amending. Science has moved on.
We now understand far more of the needs, requirements and Critical Periods of a young pup, than when this law was originally created
During this period, pups learns about social interaction, play, and inhibiting aggression.
This happens from both the mother and their litter-mates.
Puppies who stay with their mother and litter-mates during this critical period are generally easier to train.
They are also more intelligent, quicker to pick up toilet training and generally more dog friendly.
This is also the period when Pups learn the most important lesson of their lives.They learn to accept discipline and control.
The mother cleans up the nest by eating and drinking the pups faeces and urine. However after three to four weeks when the pups can hear and see.
She then teaches them to toilet outside the nest using aggressive growls and threats. This of course is the trigger that allows us as owners to train the young dog to be clean in our own homes.
I often see dogs that were Puppy farmed where toilet training is a real problem. These horrific breeders become lazy cannot be bothered to clean up after the pups once the mother has trained them to toilet outside. They then sell them on well before the important seven week watershed.
Of course those last couple of weeks with their mother and siblings have an enormous impact on the dogs future adult life. That is why you never ever buy a puppy if you cannot see the mother. whatever story which is almost always lies that the breeder may tell you.
I personally believe the best time to re-home a pup is seven weeks. This is because from 8 to 10.5 weeks they are in a full blown fear period, therefore the journey and removal from their mother and siblings can be more traumatic during this critical fear period.
The first 16 weeks of the puppies life are what is known as the "Human Socialisation Period".
This is the time when you need to really introduce your puppy to as many things as possible.
Learning at this age is permanent so this is a perfect time to start training.
This is also the ideal time to introduce the puppy to things that will play an important part in his life.
The most important time in yout puppies life is 0 to 16 weeks.
From being born the puppy should be handled by a minimum of a hundred different people during this period.
That should start with the breeder who should handle the puppies from day one. The puppy should be handled gently and positively by different people especially children.
Remember to get your new puppy used to leads and collars before they are allowed to go out. I sell what I believe are the very best collars and leads for puppies and adult dogs.
They are manufactured specifically for me and you cannot buy them anywhere else. Made from cushion web they are soft on the puppy, and your hands. Leads and Collars
Early Sound Therapy
You should go to strange places, meet other animals, road noises, trains, buses, and the hustle and bustle of the outdoors.
You can also introduce various sounds such as the vacuum cleaner, washing machine, and lawn mower, All these new sounds should be introduced in a positive, non-threatening way.
I have a Sound CD with sounds of fireworks, traffic, gunshots, thunder etc that is great for getting a puppy used to these sounds before he is allowed out.
Whatever you do never comfort your puppy if it is startled, frightened, or nervous of any new sound or object.
This only acts as a reinforcer for the fear, making the situation far worse. The earlier you can get to classes the better the dog will be socialised.
I meet many dogs and puppies that have major problems with various sounds. From Thunder to Traffic Noise, Fireworks and Gunshots. If this happens to your dog it can become a debilitating affliction, and interferes with the dogs life. Most problems are breeder or owner created.
When the dogs or puppies are startled or frightened we act as all humans do by comforting the dog.
These actions only serves to reinforce the fear the dog is feeling.
In rare cases this condition can be heredity and is then even more difficult to eradicate.
I have created an audio disc that covers all the main phobias such as thunder, sirens, fireworks, traffic noises, (including lorries and buses and air brakes) and gunshots.
The best way is prevention rather than trying to cure the problem afterwards.
If young pups are gently desensitised at a very early age, then they normally do not get these problems.
Introduce these type of sounds very quietly and gently to young pups then gradually increase the volume over a period of days and weeks.
This will get the pup who may not be able to go out because of vaccinations to be introduced carefully to all the scary sounds they will encounter
Then when they are finally allowed into the big wide World they will be less likely to be startled by these noises. Prevention is always better than cure.
The cost of this disc is only £8.00 plus P&P. I believe it is worth its weight in gold and comes with full instructions on how to introduce it to a puppy and how to use it on a dog already suffering from noise and traffic sensitivity.
Sound desensitisation has been used successfully for years to combat sound phobias in dogs. If your dog is afraid of sounds such as thunderstorm, fireworks, gunshots, sirens, or car and traffic noise or you are preparing a puppy for the big outdoors.
Click on the disc to buy, or for more information.
Some people think it is funny to see puppies abusing older dogs. Do not allow your puppy to constantly harass, leap on, and bite other dogs.