Ok, hands up if you love puppies, if you don’t have your hand up, skip this post as this is definitely not for you!
Puppies are seriously cute and sweet and funny and did I say cute? Puppies can cause the most serious of human beings to begin speaking in a baby voices, even more so some times than they would do to a human baby. When we see one we all want to pick it up and cuddle it, kiss its little button nose and find a corner to go snuggle with said puppy in peace. Does this sound familiar at all?
This morning I had a call here to the Positive Dog Training from a lady who recently adopted a puppy. She is totally besotted with the furball, and really wants to do what’s best for her dog in terms of training, grooming and socialisation. She has signed up to classes, and will be joining our puppy social group this week. I can’t wait to meet them.
But she has one worry, what will happen as her puppy gets older and bigger, will their personality change? It may, but to help your puppy along keep reading. What we aim to try and ensure is that your puppy experiences life without being unduly scared by everyday things they will come across as they mature over the coming months and years.
Puppies mature at a fast rate, and as most trainers/behaviourists will tell you, pre 16 weeks is a critical time for them to get out and experience the world. Positive supervised interactions with humans and other dogs as well as experiencing different sights, sounds and smells are essential is setting your puppy up for success for the long road ahead of them. Imagine of that very first time you seen a spider someone handed you €5 and said aren’t they the nicest creature ever? And there in after for the next 10 times you seen a spider you got €5, do you think you would be as afraid of them today as you possible are? (Spiders are just an example, I actually like them but its seems a common enough fear for me to use here.)
Using the same type of conditioning with your puppy as they experience new things, will help them begin to understand that new experiences can be great experiences! Loads up on some tasty treats and get your puppy out into the area around where you live and team each new encounter with something yummy.
Use the table below as an example and tick off as many as you can truthfully say that your puppy has experienced.
|A bicycle||Motor bike||Sand||The Sea|
|Man with beard||Bin Lorry||Tarmac||Fresh mown grass|
|Lady wearing a hat||Car Horn||Grass||Cats|
|Child in a buggy||People Cheering||Carpet||Other puppies|
|Joggers||Dogs Barking||Grave||Adult Dogs|
|Other dogs||Telephone Ringing||Concrete||Plastic toys|
|A cat||Church Bells||Decking||Rope toys|
Having your pups experience the busy environment that we live in, with positive outcomes will help then long term to go out into the world without undue fear. This combined with some general dog training will all help shape your puppy into the great adult dog that you want him to be.
Will their personality change along the way? More than likely they will become more settled and hopefully better behaved.
Enjoy puppyhood with your new arrival and remember be calm and patient with them, they don’t know what is you want them to do until you show and coach them how to do it.