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Puppies first impressions
Research has shown that the impressions a puppy forms from as young as four weeks will influence his behaviour in adulthood therefore a good and knowledgeable breeder will have started introducing their litters to positive experiences and socialisation before the puppies enter their new homes.
The new owner should continue exposing the puppy to a wide range of people, animals and situations so that he will become well adjusted and free from fear. Obviously great care must be taken with all new introductions, so make sure that any new adult dogs he meets are friendly towards puppies. A puppy should never be rushed and, if something does appear to make him uncertain, he should be allowed to experience the stimulus from a distance until he feels more confident. The use of toys, treats or games to overcome nervousness is always encouraged.
A good veterinary practice will welcome your puppy even when he does not require examination or treatment. It is a great opportunity to meet a good cross section of people and animals and your vet will certainly appreciate you familiarising your puppy with the surgery and with those that will be handling him.
The more situations with which a puppy has learnt to cope, the greater pleasure he will give you as an adult. Our CHECK LIST FOR PUPPY'S FIRST ENCOUNTERS suggests all the things that your puppy should meet in his first few months.PEOPLE AND ANIMALS
A well run puppy class is ideal for socialising your puppy in a safe environment. London Dog Forum is pleased to recommend 'The Puppy School' and we are lucky enough to have three of these tutors in the London area.
The Puppy School was the initiative of animal behaviourist, Gwen Bailey, to prevent behaviour problems among puppies and to encourage friendly, well-behaved dogs for the future. It consists of a UK network of carefully selected tutors that have been trained to a high professional standard. The tutors regularly attend courses and seminars given by top behaviourists and trainers on behaviour problem solving to ensure that the best advice is given to owners. As well as completing a residential and home study course each trainer has a wealth of practical hands-on experience with different breeds and types of dogs before becoming puppy tutors.
PUPPY'S FIRST ENCOUNTERS
The more positive experiences a puppy has in the first few months of his life, the more well adjusted he will be as an adult and it is essential that he is introduced to as many environments, people, animals and objects as possible in those earlier weeks. Here is a check list of all the things your puppy should be introduced to in order to learn not to be stressed or afraid in any lifetime situation.
• Men, women, children
• Elderly and disabled people and people with sticks
• Noisy confident people and quiet, shy people
• People of different ethnic origins
• Postman, milkman, meter men and delivery men
• People with hats
• People with glasses
• People with bags
• People with beards
• Joggers, people on bikes, scooters and skateboards or pushing prams
• People in wheelchairs
• Veterinary practice staff
• People in uniform
• Other dogs
• Other domestic pets
• Horses and riders
• Livestock and wildlife
PLACES TO VISIT
• The veterinary surgery
• Kennels and grooming parlours
• Schools and playgrounds
• Other peoples houses
• Cafes, pubs, restaurants and hotels (where allowed)
• Shops and markets
• Buses and trains and other forms of public transport
• Parks and countryside
• Towns and cities
• Lifts and escalators
• Show grounds and fetes
• Hoovers and carpet cleaners
• Washing machines and tumble dryers
• Cars, bikes and scooters
• Prams and pushchairs
• Children’s toys
• Hot air balloons and aircraft
OTHER THINGS TO LEARN
• Wearing a collar or harness
• Walking on a lead,
• Grooming and bathing
• Being handled by strangers
• Medical examination
• Travelling in the car
• Being alone
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