a plucky little blog


Christmas puppy? Start socializing now!

December 21, 2012 at 1:57 PM

I know some lucky few of you will have received or gifted a puppy for the holidays this year. If you didn't have a chance to plan ahead for your new puppy's arrival in your life, here's what you should know:

  1. Socialize your puppy now. Right away. Every day. According to Ian Dunbar, your puppy should have met 100 people by the time he is three months old. Just to give you some perspective of what lies ahead in these next few weeks. Socialization should not be limited to people, but includes other animals, places, noises, machines, ground textures, weather condtions, environmental changes, moving things, the list is endless. Really, it's endless. You've got a few precious weeks after you get your puppy until the end of her socialization period at around 12 weeks, and you should take advantage of every single day. Our Monday Night Puppy Socials are an excellent way to socialize your puppy to other dogs.
  2. Start training, too. Training your puppy to do the right things is so much easier than untraining him from doing things you don't like. A beginning obedience class specially designed for puppies, like our Kinderpuppy 1, is a great way to learn the basics while having fun with other people.
  3. Crate train your puppy. It's almost indispensible for potty-, chew-, and alone-training. And when done correctly, it's easy for you and fun for your puppy.
  4. Put away the food bowl.Bowls full of food are training dollars thrown out the window. Instead, feed your puppy during mini training sessions throughout the day, or from food toys in her crate. The Kong is the classic starter toy, but there are many different kinds of food-dispensing toys. Some of my favorites include the Kibble Nibble, Tug-a-Jug, and Magic Mushroom.
  5. Ask for help. Chances are, your puppy didn't come with instructions. And yet, how you handle the next few weeks and months will determine the quality of the rest of your dog's life, and of your relationship with him. We specialize in new puppy consultation, where we can shed light on the myriad of contradicting advice you're finding in books, online, and from well-intentioned friends and relatives.
  6. Take pictures! It's true, this won't help make your puppy more obedient or better adjusted. But their puppyhood will fly by in what seems like minutes, so capture those precious moments as they happen.

Tags: training puppy socialization
Category: How to