CreamofBritish ASD Australian Labradoodles UK
In bringing your puppy home when it is eight weeks of age, you must remember that it is in its fourth critical period. Your puppy must be socialised with the human element. Not just with you but with other humans as well. Your puppy should be taken for walks in public. He should be allowed to meet people and be allowed to play with children (under close supervision). Socialisation is the act of exposing your puppy to everything he should be comfortable with throughout his life, people, places, situations and other animals. Unfortunately behavioural problems are common place and only now is it becoming apparent to many, that nervous, aggressive or shy behaviour in adult dogs, is the result of a lack of adequate socialisation when still young. This is because 20 years ago it was decided that it was dangerous to a puppy’s health to take him out and about before 2 weeks after his last inoculation. The dog world is now paying the price. Anti-social dogs are a danger to society and many end up in rescue centres or worst still put to sleep, because of biting incidents.
If you have read my previous pages you now appreciate how little time you do have to socialise a puppy. The first 16 weeks of life are the most crucial and what is learnt in these first 4 months (good or bad) shapes your puppy for the whole of his life. What he learns now he will never forget.
By the time that your puppy is 7 weeks old (optimum age for bonding) he is the human equivalent of a toddler. He needs to explore and be encouraged to explore. This is something the Guide Dogs For The Blind Association have always acted upon. A potential Guide Dog is placed with his new ‘Puppy Walker’ at 6 weeks of age and immediately is taken into the big wide world, on public transport etc.
Ask yourself the following question
“Why are Guide Dogs so rock steady, reliable and unphased?”
Would you shut a new born baby in a cupboard until he was 3 years old and then expect him not to be terrified of everything he encountered. Of course not but that is the equivalent of keeping your puppy
confined, either at the breeders premises or in your home until 14weeks of age, that is 2 weeks after his last vaccination. The secret to a happy, well balanced puppy/dog is to take him out and about with you as soon as you get him home. In the car, visiting friends, meeting safe doggy associates, other animals, take him to the school gates, let people stop and talk and fuss him, take him on public transport. In short show your puppy the outside world, the world in which he is expected to live. This does not mean your puppy should be placed on the pavement or allowed to mix with strays in the local park. CARRY your puppy on these first exciting adventures, when he is fully vaccinated he can
continue on his own four feet. By this time you will be very surprised how few people now want to say “hello” to your pup, who by now looks quite adult, rather than a cute fluffy puppy.
A well trained, well socialised dog is a pleasure to own and a great ambassador for his breed, one that is not is a liability.
REMEMBER HE IS YOUR DOG AND IT IS UPTO YOU HOW OTHER PEOPLE TREAT HIM.
CreamofBritish Australian Labradoodles