The puppy program is an intensive 5 week one-on-one, in-home training program that will teach you everything you need to know to raise a happy well adjusted dog. You know, the perfect dog you always wanted!
So you have a new puppy, congratulations! But you don’t have any time to sit back and watch your pup play and grow. You need to get started on your puppy training program. The optimal time to prepare your dog for adulthood is between birth and 14 weeks of age. That only leaves you with a short window of 6 weeks to work magic into this pup.
Did you know that what you do or don’t do within the next few weeks will have a huge impact on how well adjusted your adult dog will be? Do you want your dog to be dog friendly? Calm and relaxed around children? Easy to groom and handle? Comfortable in new and novel surroundings? Be able to handle crowds? Parades? Car rides? The mailman? Not be fearful or aggressive? Now is the time to work on all of that. If you wait until your dog is showing unacceptable behavior, you may never get the dog you want.
Hopefully your breeder did everything needed to get the pup to this age with the proper amounts of human interaction, and puppy playtime. Now it is up to you! The time period between 7 weeks and 14 weeks is when pups are learning about their world.
Every year hundreds (thousands) of dogs are euthanized, unfortunately a large number of those are euthanized because of behavior issues. It’s very sad that those dogs have paid the ultimate price for living in our society, and not being given the skills they need to succeed. All those dogs were just being dogs, but not the way their humans wanted or needed them to behave.
When we bring dogs into our lives, homes and families it is imperative that we teach them how we want them to behave. If left to learn how our world works on their own, a small few may do quite well, but many more of them will run into problems. If we can teach our dogs how to behave properly, we could save thousands of dogs from an early death at the vet’s office.
Puppy’s have specific developmental time periods:
- Neonatal-birth to 12 days: The pups’ actions are guided by necessity of food and heat.
- Transition Period-13 to20 days: eyes open, learn to walk around, learn to eliminate on their own.
- Primary Socialization Period (canine socialization period)-3 to 7 weeks: learns species specific behavior, puppies respond to voices and recognize people.
- Human Socialization Period- starts at 7 weeks and ends between 12 & 14 weeks: what this puppy becomes as an adult dog will be a direct result of what you do (or don’t do) now! It is probably the most important time in your dog’s developing life.
- Fear Impact Period-8 weeks to 11 weeks: Avoid frightening puppies at this stage of development, traumatic experiences may have lasting effects during this critical period.
- Juvenile Period-between socialization period and puberty: This is when your pup may try to test the rules.
- Adolescent Period- from puberty to social maturity: Pups start expanding their boundaries and explore more of the world. They may not listen as they previously had.
- Second Fear Impact Period (lasts approx. 3 weeks) – usually between 5 and 12 months: May suddenly be timid or apprehensive of new things.
- Maturity-1 to 4 years: smaller dogs mature earlier than larger dogs.
It is common knowledge that puppies should be socialized, many well intentioned owners enroll their puppies in a puppy class believing that they are socializing their pup. Taking your pup to a class once a week for 6 weeks is just ONE step in the socialization process. In the puppy class your pup will learn how to interact and play with their own species-perfect! But there is far more they need to learn then playing with other dogs.
A solid socialization program will cover four areas of development:
- Prevention-which covers everything from bite inhibition, child proofing, fear reactions, food guarding, handling, exchanges. The list is long, think prevention instead of cure for any potential dog problems.
- Socialization- Introducing your dog to his world. People, people carrying things, people wearing things, people doing things, animals, all types of vehicles and the noises and movements they make, different surfaces to walk on and move over, construction sites and tools, strange sights and smells, different environments such as vet clinics, groomers, school grounds, downtown, bridges, elevators, stairs, shopping malls. Their home environment with TV’s, gaming systems, doorbells, vacuums, and delivery people.
- Obedience- Training a dog when it is still young is easy, and the benefits will last a lifetime. By using gentle and kind training methods you can teach your pup all it needs to know to live a long happy life with its human family.
- Play- It is important to play with your dog. Playing creates a bond with your pup, and gives him an outlet for his natural instincts and drives. Playing games can also give you regular indicators of your dogs self control. When your dog is excited by play, but is still able to respond to your cues and requests, you know he is able to use self control even in stimulating environments.
The ideal time frame for socialization is before the pup turns 16 weeks old. Since most puppies are not brought into the new home until they are 8-9 weeks old, that only leaves 6-8 weeks to prepare your pup for life! It is a short time frame with much to do, but put the time in now and your will reap the rewards for years!
The Puppy Program:
- Is designed for pups 8-16 weeks of age.
- The in-home* lessons incorporate the four areas of a solid socialization program.
- The program takes 5 weeks to complete; the first session is two hours long with a 1 1/4 hour lesson every week thereafter.
- You will be given homework assignments every week.
- Each week we will review the following week’s homework and fix any problems that have arisen. We will build on the previous week’s progress and/or start new assignments.
- Strongly recommend a puppy play group to continue socializing your pup with other members of the canine family.
The in-home lessons allow one-on-one work with you, your puppy and the trainer. This way time and energy can be spent where you need it, not following a pre-determined lesson plan.