Raising a puppy to be a happy, confident and sociable dog: Part 2
Socialisation, what does that mean? It isn’t all about meeting other dogs, if only it was that easy.
It is an umbrella term used for our dogs to learn about the world while they are young and adaptable. It is all about the sights, sounds, textures, smells and tastes!
All of these things are so important for your puppy to grow up as a well-adjusted and balanced adult.
They need to meet different people, men, woman, children, teenagers, men with hats, glasses, beards, people with walking sticks, wheelchairs etc etc. the more the better! If puppy is unsure, we let them stand and watch and reward calm behaviour and encourage and allow them to approach in their own time. Resist the urge to pull them towards things they are unsure of, be their support buddy, gently encourage with a nice loose lead, you will be surprised how quickly they will approach on their own given the chance.
Bedtime routines can also be a problem for new puppies. Try and imagine how scary it must be for these little guys, they are playing with their siblings and safe with Mum. Someone fun comes to visit, and they end up going home with them to a strange smelling home with maybe a lot of different people they have never met before. Now imagine how scary that must be to be shut in a room on their own for the first night left to cry themselves to sleep eventually. You don’t need to do that to your puppy.
Wherever you want your puppy to sleep eventually we can move towards that. Offering them the support of you being nearby, either by having a crate or bed by your bed so they can alert you to the fact they need a wee or just to say, ‘it’s OK, I am here’. Or you can sleep downstairs with them to reassure and comfort them and let them know they are safe, and they can get access to the toilet if and when needed.
Our puppy’s bladders are tiny, they should never be expected to go all night without a pee break, we don’t expect human babies to and puppies are no different. Expecting a puppy to sleep in an environment they had no choice but to toilet in is wrong. Our puppies don’t want to toilet in their bed, but if no one will come and let them out during the night, they have no choice.
One of the most important aspects of owning a dog is the relationship you build with them; you can train in a fun and rewarding way for both of you where your dog trusts and adores you. You have a few sleepless nights to start off and get them feeling safe and secure and getting the toileting started right so we have less mistakes. Or you can use harsh aversive methods, so your dog fears you and they have accidents in their bedding which makes everyone feel unhappy. I know which one I want.
Remember that tiny puppy you bring into your house trusts you completely and is relying on you to take care of them and show them the way of the world! We all make mistakes, especially when we don’t know what the best course of action is. If you have a new puppy and you are struggling seek the advice of a professional, just like you would for plumbing, electrics in the home! If you bought a piano, you would have lessons to learn not just muddle through.
There are lots of great trainers out there, find a positive reinforcement trainer to help you get your puppy’s journey started right! Here at the Daisy Dog Academy, we want learning and fun to always go hand in paw! If you are not having fun, then you can be certain your puppy isn’t!
Be your puppies champion, be consistent and seek help when in doubt. If you need advice, we can be contacted at https://www.facebook.com/Daisydogacademy or via the website at www.thediasydogacademy.com
This is a tricky time for puppies with classes cancelled and lockdown causing socialisation issues, but never be afraid to ask for advice and help from professional dog trainers, we only ever want what is best for the dogs in our area!
If you have a question for Yvonne, email [email protected]