So You Have a New Puppy! Now What?

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Baby Wolfy at the beach!

Summer Time, or Any Season Really, Bringing Home a Puppy!

First think through bringing home a puppy, do you have time to train? Time to teach it about life? Is everyone in the household going to help look after the puppy? If you have children, and a mom, chances are, this is one more ‘child’ to look after. If your time is with toddlers, chances are this is not the time for a new addition. Think things through before adding a new pup to the family.

So You, Have a New Pup, Now What?

First off, taking it to the vet to make sure it has had it’s first shots for the age it is at. Most pups have vaccinations with the breeder and the dam, usually provides some immunity. At 16 weeks they are due for their booster shots. After that, you may have to get vaccinations as required by your state or province. Socializing the pup is very important, but doing it right is going to save you a lot of problems later.

Doing It Right is Very Important!

Some vets, in the past and still do recommend not letting the dogs socialize until after 16 weeks, this is too late! You need to take them out, to puppy classes that have pups the same age. 8-16 weeks. They need to have their vaccinations, and vet checked, so it is safe for them to interact, and they are in a clean environment. It is important they do not just meet any dogs either, they must be known dogs that are healthy, so they don’t get sick. Taking your dog to the dog park, is not recommended especially at this young age. Take your pup out on walks, at different times of the day. This is safe, just don’t let them interact with unknown dogs. Most pups, can be picked up if need be. Take them to different places, not just your backyard, let them see new places, that is socialization, new experiences and sounds at different times of the day. Chances are your pup will learn more going to socialization classes that are run well, and be helped to not have behavior problems later.

The lack of socialization at the critical periods are the most reasons dogs do not make it to their third birthday.

Here are some resources to help you with information: http://avsabonline.org/uploads/position_statements/puppy_socialization1-25-13.pdf

Here are some free downloads from Dr. Ian Dunbar, who has done socialization for a long time: http://www.dogstardaily.com/free-download

This is an excellent book, and there are many who are certified to teach this course: http://store.clickertraining.com/puppy-start-right-foundation-training-for-the-companion-dog.html

Another great resource from Dr. Sophia Yin: http://drsophiayin.com/perfectpuppy

Choosing a puppy class is important, if the dogs are over the age of 16 weeks, then look for another class. Educating yourself, and your puppy, is the best way to enjoy your puppy, into their adult years.