Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Can your 8 week old puppy do this?

Here is what Doglando's 8 -16 week old puppies can do. What can yours?

Summer is popular new dog season.... and we hope for all those considering bringing home a new puppy, also consider enrolling these young impressionable minds into a puppy kindergarten type of class.

Often I hear from pet parents of dogs that later on in life turn to be aggressive. Teaching a puppy to sit and stay is simple. It can be easily achieved with quite a reliable response with only a handful of treats. However, teaching a dog compliance, and not to use his/her strength against a human in control or passerby is a different story. Most puppy classes do not focus on handling and restraint exercises, when these are the most important lessons of early puppy hood.

Earlier this year, you saw some videos of Nola and her puppies. You saw how aggressive, determined, focused, persistent and obsessive they were when it came to food. At that age, the single handed most important thing to these puppies was food. They knew their mum (Nola) was the source of it. They associated her scent, with food. It is incredible to witness this if you have never before.

If Nola left the puppy pen, they would wiggle and worm around sniffing for her. They recognized her scent immediately when she entered the x-pen area and at that time the literally went 'nuts.'

Before she could even find a comfortable spot for herself, the puppies would grab all parts of her suckling, even where there was no nipple. Female dogs typically have 8 - 10 nipples. Nola had 8. She had 7 pups. So although there was one for each, that was only in count. It was a matter of survival for the fittest, and those that could not hold their own, unfortunately would not make it.

So what does this have anything to do with the original post?

Dogs learn to be pushy, persistent, aggressive, determined, focused, obsessive from birth. Depending on their need and then as they grow up their desires, these behaviors either worsen or the dog learns to be compliant and polite.

Dog's don't become aggressive later on in life, and they surely don't become aggressive out of "nowhere." As time goes by, dogs learn what works for them and what does not. It is much easier to let them know at 8 weeks of age and 10 pounds when they are out of line, vs when they are 2 years old at 80lbs.

Many times pet parents feel they can handle their puppies just fine, and don't look for professional help until a problem arises. However, those that start the dog off on the right paw, also start their relationship with that dog off on the right paw... thus trust and compliance are natural to their relationships.

Raise your puppy with the rules you would like for him/her to live by.... and start this on day one. I know your puppy is so cute, and so mushy and aw just so darn adorable.... I am a pet parent too. Trust that this will pay off later, and you will always find your dog to be cute, and so mush and aw just so darn adorable event at two... because you will have done things correctly.

Enjoy, be smart, and dog responsibly.

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