Research has shown that young puppies’ brains are like sponges. They can absorb and process information much faster than older dogs at this young age. The best part is, the information given to them now will stay with them into their adulthood.
Puppies also have very little fear during their first weeks, so new experiences are approached with curiosity. To capitalize on this, your puppy needs you to introduce various objects, locations, and experiences that they might encounter during their lifetime. This teaches puppies to approach novelty with calm curiosity rather than fear.
The first 12 weeks are a crucial time for shaping a puppy into the type of dog that best fits your family. While training done later in life may work, it takes much more time and effort and some things are almost impossible to train out of an adult dog.
For dogs, if they learn in the first 12 weeks that new means , they will forever carry that with them. On the contrary, if they learn that new experiences are something to be happy about and look forward to early on, they will be able to continue that throughout their lifetime. The goal is that they approach new experiences with calm confidence.
Introduce a new object or experience to the puppy's world every day from the time they can see (about 10 days old). The new objects can be different surfaces to walk on, textures to chew on, toys, household items, etc. Experiences include exploring a new room in the house, hearing different sounds, or feeling water for the first time.
As the puppies grow, the experiences become a little more complex and exciting. They get to go outside, explore different areas of the property, take car rides, and even going to stores.
A poorly socialized puppy will grow to be fearful or aggressive toward new people and other dogs. It’s the same idea as with new experiences. If they aren’t exposed to different types of people and dogs during those first 12 weeks they’ll most likely become fearful of them in the future. It’s a natural response for protection.
As you can imagine, fear and aggression toward new people and dogs can lead to some serious problems for the dog and its owner. Unless you plan to never take your dog out or have others come to your house, early socialization is critical!
A lot of instruction and guidance is needed to produce well-socialized puppies. Introduce the puppies to a variety of people: old, young, men, women, people with beards, hats, coats, heels, and glasses to name a few.
Then there are the ever-popular Puppy Parties! Invite a few guests who are training their puppies. Set a mini agility course, the small challenges are great for teaching the puppies to conquer fears and obey their owner. The party ends in a meal around the table to show the puppies what it looks, smells and sounds like when their owners entertain guests. As the puppies grow, give them opportunities to spend time with other adult dogs to learn how to be good citizens of dog society.
If you are getting ready to bring a puppy into your home, potty training has probably crossed your mind a few times (or a lot more than a few times). It can be daunting to plan for and exhausting to go through. Potty training is a lot of work.
Well, if you are buying a puppy from us, you’re in luck! They’ve already been given a HUGE headstart! We use litter boxes to start teaching the puppies to leave the “nest” to eliminate starting as young as 3 weeks old. This works right along with their natural instincts to keep the nest clean.
As the puppies grow, the litter box area gets smaller and moves farther away from the “den”. The idea is that they learn there are many places they may not use as a bathroom and one place where it’s ok. Then, they are taken outside on a routine to learn that they are to use the outdoors to go.
Puppies have a lot to learn at such a young age. They need to learn how to get along well in the dog world as well as in the human world. Part of getting along means learning to communicate. Since a puppy can’t talk to us to tell us what he wants, Puppy Culture establishes a “Communication Trinity” to help give that puppy a voice.
The first part of communicating with the puppy is with the clicker. The clicker is a powerful tool to help tell the puppy they’ve done a good thing and will get a reward. Its crisp sound makes pinpointing the desired behavior more accurate and therefore, more effective. It only takes a few sessions of clicking and immediately giving a treat for the puppy to learn what it means.
Once the puppy knows what the clicker means, the next objective is to teach the puppy to offer behaviors to get a reward. Iny playing the “box game” where a small box is placed on the floor by the puppy and they are clicked whenever they interact with the box. As the game goes on and they start to pick up on the fact that they are getting treats for touching the box, they’ll offer that behavior more often and quickly. We don’t really care that they learn to touch a box, just that they learn to keep trying new things until there is a click.
The final way teaches communication is through Manding. Manding looks like the “sit” command, but it’s so much more. The idea is not that the puppy learns to sit on command, but rather to use a sitting position as a way to ask for what they want. If they want a treat, a pet, or to go outside, they learn to sit quietly in front of you to ask instead of barking or jumping. Teaching this is simple and only takes a couple of five-minute sessions, but what it does for a dog’s future life is amazing!
Appropriate Nutrition for the Mother
Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) Eexercises
The transition of the puppy's diet from its mother's milk to the solid growth diet of puppyhood
Understanding Behavioral Markers
Age Appropriate Games and Exercises
Creating an Enriching Environment
Puzzle and Problem Solving
Offering Good Behaviors
Emotional Resilience Exercise
Sound Proofing Puppies
Introductions of the owner and new family member