Whether you are a seasoned dog owner or a newbie, having a puppy is hard work!
Coronavirus spread and lockdown ensued
It seemed to be a perfect opportunity to take the leap to puppy-parenthood and commit to welcoming a new four-legged family member into our homes. I’ve got a few friends who took that step and I’ve seen so many gorgeous puppy’s out and about.
Having a new puppy is a whirlwind
There can be a huge period of adjustment for newbies, talking from personal experience! Firstly, getting to know your new dog, then there’s reward-training a mammoth list of commands and positively introducing them to the world around them. Oh and cleaning up lots of little accidents! Plus all those sleepless nights! Definitely not a job for the faint hearted!
So you did it, you took home a new pupster over lockdown and now have time for training. Something that can, under normal circumstances be a real struggle to find. Dedicating your time from the very start with puppy training is a perfect way to build that life-long friendship and helps your pup to become a well-rounded dog, in theory! Ha! But a major part that was sadly lacking during this time was a chance to socialise your dog.
The term ‘socialisation’ encompasses so much! Introducing them to the world around them, a puppy has an optimum window in their development up to 14 weeks old to work on this, after this time introductions can be tougher.
All training should be done with lots of praise and rewards, making each element a fun and enjoyable experience. Try and consider the duration of the training session, the distance that they are comfortable with and the intensity of the exposure to the stimulus.
Here is my TOP 10 Puppy Socialisation Checklist
- People, adults, kids and babies! Also consider those using wheelchairs or wearing motorcycle helmets.
- Dogs, big and small and everything in between!
- Other animals e.g horses, sheep, cats and squirrels!!
- Visiting the vets. Most vets are happy for you to pop in and they will give your puppy a fuss and a treat. But check with them first, given the current restrictions.
- Handling. From top to tail, include playing with your pup’s feet and ears.
- Travelling. Keep journeys short if your pup gets sick.
- Sounds. Think about knocking at the front door, using the hoover, loud motorbikes and fireworks.
- Being left alone. This takes time, be patient and it will pay off.
- Going to the groomer. Lots of grooming salons offer special puppy introduction grooms.
- Puppy Training classes are slowly resuming in a covid-safe way, with some providers offering classes to those pups that otherwise missed out on the normal early-stage classes.
Then for good measure, let’s just chuck in teething, play biting, toilet training, tummy upsets, sleepless nights and the stressful search for a trusted dog sitter or dog walker! Puppy-parenthood can be mind boggling!
If you’d like to share your Lockdown Puppy experience, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your story. We’d love to hear how you are getting on.
- For classes in Hastings and St Leonard’s https://1066petsandpeople.co.uk/puppy-school/
- For puppy training and advice I would recommend reading ‘The Perfect Puppy’ by Gwen Bailey.
Puppy Visits by Your Pet Nurse
Suitable for little pups that are not fully vaccinated (under 13 weeks old.)
Vet Nurse visits at home to offer your puppy a toilet break, playtime and top up food and water. We will help to support current training too, practicing commands and available for advice. Contact us to arrange a safe meeting.
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