Helen and I were walking our dogs along the canal last week when we met a lady with an adorable young dog. Unable to resist we stopped to say hello (to the dog of course) and fell into a doggy conversation during which we discovered that the dog was 8 months old and that its mistress would love to join a dog club but was waiting until her dog was old enough.
This is a popular misconception and one that we as ‘educateurs canine ‘are presented with all the time.
Most clubs these days have an Ecole du Chiot (Puppy School) and the best time to take your pup along is at 8 weeks of age as soon as the first vaccinations have been given.
Why is that? Because between 8 – 12 weeks is the period when your puppy needs to be socialised and to have lot of new experiences. It is also the period when the fear instinct starts to kick in and failure to properly socialise before 12 weeks of age can lead to problems later on.
A five year old child who has never played with other children and who is suddenly taken to a playground, or sent to school, will have no idea how to interact with other children. He may be frightened and through fear he may become aggressive in his attitude towards the other children. So it is with dogs.
At a Puppy School you will be shown how to train your puppy effectively and without stress but equally important your little one will learn how to ‘play nicely’ with other puppies and to inhibit his bite. He will meet other dogs of varying shapes and sizes and other humans too, (also of varying shapes and sizes!), with glasses and hats, big coats and umbrellas. He will learn to walk on different surfaces, to go over jumps and small bridges and through tunnels. All these experiences will help ensure that he will become a well rounded dog, friendly to humans and other dogs, that you can take anywhere.
If you would like to know more about our Puppy Club or if you just need some advice contact us - we would be happy to help.