The R+ Dog Training Puppy Passport helps you to socialise your puppy in those special first weeks in a new home. You can record and tick off each experience as you work towards graduation, preserving those precious memories of the early weeks as you go.
It is important that puppies experience as many new things as possible in a supportive and positive way. Experiences gained at this stage can last for life whilst negative responses can be very difficult to eradicate later on.
The socialisation window for dogs is a developmental period that lasts from 3 weeks of age to about 12 weeks. Although it may involve meeting other dogs, it is not about engaging in play but an optimal time in which puppies can adjust to the environment in which they live.
Your breeder should have agreed a socialisation programme with you; if you need help in knowing what to ask, you can book a customised advice session and we can also provide a template for your breeder. Unfortunately, as it is rightly illegal for a puppy to leave its mother until 8 weeks of age, much of this time is spent in vaccination quarantine.
However, you should still aim to expose your puppy to new things by using a puppy sling or carrier and making sure that your puppy does not go down on the ground or encounter other dogs until a week after the second set of primary vaccinations – usually at about 11 weeks old. The R+ Dog Training Puppy Passport can help you to socialise your puppy and give you a head start so that you can then re-visit places once your puppy is on his own four paws.
We can help you with ideas of places to visit and a give you a way of recording those precious first experiences but you don’t have to stick to our suggestions – the world is your oyster!
This is my Puppy Passport journey:
Good breeders will take puppies out in a car so that they get used to travelling and are less likely to be car sick when you first bring them home. However, even if you usually drive a car, accustoming your puppy to travelling on public transport is useful in case you have an emergency and need to use the bus, tube or train.
Make sure that you carry your puppy up and down stairs, use lifts where possible, and carry your puppy on and off transport until he is big enough to manage safely on his own.
Many more businesses are realising the benefits of allowing dogs in, although you may be required to sit outside if you are eating. It is important to accustom your puppy to the sight, sounds – and smells – of restaurants and cafés.
The R+ Dog Training Puppy Start Right Courses will help you to teach your dog how to settle quietly so that you can enjoy your meal and so that your puppy will not disturb other diners.
Everybody’s lifestyle is different, so make sure that you include experiences for your puppy that are personal to you. I do not have laundry facilities at home, but I am lucky enough to have a fabulous local launderette that is dog-friendly. At this stage, most of the laundry is Travis’ anyway! He enjoys watching the washing go round (dog tv) and, when it is quiet, we practise a few other skills while we wait.
There are many more horses in London than you may expect and no rider or driver wants their horse to be frightened or injured by a dog – it could be fatal for dog, rider and horse. Travis had a carefully supervised and controlled introduction to his first pony at 11 weeks old. We then went to watch a horse being ridden in the indoor school so that he became used to horses and riders moving. The R+ Dog Training Country Canines Course can help you introduce your dog to horses and other animals and we can also organise a customised session for you.
Fortunately, many more businesses are realising that allowing dogs in is good for business. It is important that dogs learn to have good manners in shops – I made sure to keep an eye out for stock that could be grabbed and and provided plenty of opportunities beforehand for Travis to eliminate outside.
Here we had to be careful of chocolates at mouth level as chocolate is toxic for dogs and even the type on sale here with low cocoa solids could make a dog poorly, never mind add to my shopping budget if he had eaten any! R+Dog Training Puppy Start Right Courses help you to teach your dog to learn to sit patiently while you complete your transaction.
Everybody’s lifestyle is different so it is important to take your puppy to places where you need to go. My dogs need to come almost everywhere with me – and that includes flamenco class! Travis made his début at 12 weeks old (luckily I have a very understanding teacher). He is learning not to chew my skirt and he quickly got used to me practising castanets at home. We can even sometimes get him to sleep – at least when working with quieter music. My previous dogs have been to rehearsals and ballet classes and sat quietly out of the way while I worked. Travis is well on his way to emulating them.
What will you choose? I can’t wait to find out!