Many dog owners fall into the trap of thinking that their puppies will inherently be naughty or angelic based on breed or other genetic factors. This is far from the case!
The truth is that it takes time, work and the active participation of everyone in the household to produce a friendly, well-mannered and hassle-free adult dog.
From 3 weeks old to 16 weeks old, puppies are primed for learning about people, other animals, objects and their environment. This is called the critical socialisation period. If they don’t receive adequate exposure, training and guidance during this period, they can develop into poorly-adjusted adult dogs who may be fearful, aggressive or destructive.
Veterinary behaviourists recommend that at a minimum, puppies attend socialisation classes and that owners plan to input at least 1 or 2 short training sessions with their puppy each day. Puppy preschool is highly recommended as it is fun and educational for both you and your puppy and is a great opportunity to meet other puppies in a safe environment. Please ask us about the puppy school that we run here at the clinic! Our classes are based on the most up-to-date science of canine learning and development.
It is also important that puppies are given opportunities to socialise even prior to the completion of their 16 week vaccination booster, which falls at the end of their critical socialisation period. In addition to puppy school, we recommend regular structured play dates with calm, well behaved older dogs, that are healthy and up to date with vaccinations and worming. These play dates should occur in safe, low disease risk areas such as a house or backyard, with no access to unfamiliar or unvaccinated dogs.
Get your puppy used to being handled by gently touching their ears, paws and mouth and offering them a treat for being good! Many older dogs require their teeth to be cleaned, nails to be trimmed and tablets to be given. If you put the ground work in now, you will make your life far easier later on in your pets' life!
Behaviour problems in puppies or adult dogs? We can help!
- Separation or generalised anxiety
- Problem behaviours such as excessive barking
- Storm phobias
- House soiling
- Excitement or submissive urination
- Obsessive compulsive disorders
- Geriatric behaviour changes
Please book a consultation with one of our experienced veterinarians.