The first three months of your puppy's life are crucial in shaping her future development. If you do nothing else with your dog, putting the time and effort into these few months is very worth while.
All animals, including humans, come equipped with an important fear response. It helps keep us alive. It keeps us vigilant. It reminds us not to repeat bad experiences.
Fear is hard to overcome. And, as we all know, it can lead to aggression. Offense as defense.
It is therefore vital that we protect puppies from bad experiences, while piling up the good ones, and the time to pile up the good ones is when they are curious, exploring little sponges.
The reason this is so important is that once this window closes, the fear response starts to kick in: "Dude, that human has something weird on his head. Never seen that before. Keep your distance." And voila! Fear of men in hats.
If your dog is older, all is not lost. We have techniques to alleviate behavior problems and fear and aggression. But if you have a puppy and can get out ahead of it, why not do it?
Try to expose your puppy to the following. Make sure she is comfortable every step of the way, and pair each new encounter with little pieces of chicken to create a happy association in your puppy's mind.
- Men, women, children and babies of all ages and ethnicities.
- People in hats, in wheelchairs, on skateboards and riding bicycles.
- Children in playgrounds, babies in strollers
- People appearing suddenly, at windows, above fences and popping out of elevators.
- Dogs of all shapes and sizes.
- Sounds that will be part of their daily lives, including hairdryer and vacuum cleaner.
- Smells, including baby power and diapers.
- Places, including cars, outdoor cafes.
- Take your puppy to the vet multiple times without having any procedures and let the staff feed treats
There are many more things we can help you implement to give your puppy the very best chance of being a confident, well-adjusted adult.
For more information please get in touch.