CHILLIWACK LABRADOODLES PUP DATE!
Good Evening Chilliwack Labradoodle Families!
This is our February 2020 Pup Date for Clover's Litter.
Clover has grown a little more stalky in build and is slowing down in nature. She is ohhh so loving and cuddly. With her due date at the end of the month, this is exactly what we would expect of our pregnant momma!
For last month's Pup Date we asked you to think about How To Get Your House Set-up and Planning for your Puppy's arrival. This month we will provide you with information around Puppy Socialization and Training. These are two of the MOST important things you can do for your puppy and family. Chilliwack Labradoodles highly recommends involving everyone in the family when it comes to Socialization and Training.
Training is a terrific way for you to teach, learn and socialize your puppy all at the same time. Training and Socializing your puppy is a couple of the most important things you can do for your puppy, it is critical in the early months of a puppy's life. Your puppy will have had one vaccination and some immunity built up from momma. If you wait to start training and socializing until all their vaccinations are given you will miss the critical period for when your puppy needs socialization. Is there a risk of taking your puppy to training classes without having all vaccinations completed? Minimal but yes.
We had all three of our dogs at early puppy training and socializing classes right after their second set of vaccinations. (with a trainer that I vetted well and understands the health and safety around puppies that have not been fully vaccinated.) Do not let your puppy go near or sniff other puppies' urine or feces.
If you have not yet found a positive reinforcement trainer to take your puppy to classes we highly recommend that you do as soon as possible and enroll in your first puppy training classes.
When looking for a trainer we would suggest you ask if they are Certified? Ask who certified them and how long did it take to become certified? If a trainer is not certified it does not necessarily mean they are not great at what they do, ask them how long they have been training? The two most common types of training are Lure: treat/praise and Clicker Training: behavior, click and treat. We have trained using both methods, they equally work well. I personally prefer lure training I find for me it is a quicker method of training. One of the other adult members of our program excelled at Clicker Training, he struggles with processing and some verbal communication and found with clicker training he was easily able to focus on the positive action and mark it with a click. Intelligence and learning quickly are a couple of the strong traits of the Labradoodle therefore your puppy is able to excel at either training style. Ask the trainer if you could come to sit in on one of their training classes prior to bringing your puppy.
We completely discourage any kind of physical force imposed training. Labradoodles are social and sensitive dogs, they respond well to and learn by watch and listening for your tone of voice, facial and body expressions. We mark our dog's behaviors with treats and praise both verbal and physical by cuddling, petting and play. If we change our tone of voice or remove ourselves from your puppy/dog's view these actions work well at letting the puppy know the behavior they were doing is not an acceptable one. The greater the positively reinforced bond you have with our dog the quicker they will learn and repeat the good behaviors we are wanting from them. Your dog needs to trust you and feel confident in the mutual bond the two of you will build in order to learn the great long term behaviors that you are seeking. Patience and consistency are what really works well for long term learning and understanding of your fur baby.
What is Socialization?
Socialization is where we take our puppy and teach them not to be afraid of things. Also, known as desensitization. Socializing your puppy is desensitizing them to situations.
During weeks 3 through to week 16, your puppy is going through a critical imprint stage. Every experience is new to them and they are learning at a rapid pace. This is why it is so important to create positive experiences and expose them to as many things as possible. Anything your puppy has not experienced during this period may be something he is hesitant about in the future. if you have the consistent and trusting bond that he has come to rely on he will be calmer and able to work through this with you.
Puppies also come with a genetic temperament. Some may come bounding over and be very outgoing, while another quieter and less outgoing. At Chilliwack Labradoodles, we will do as many things as possible to introduce the puppies to new things and experiences. Once you take your puppy home it will be up o you to continue to socialize him.
During the critical Socialization period, our puppies have not received all of their vaccinations! By the time you bring your puppy home, your puppy has started to build their immune system. They have had their first set of vaccinations and have some immunity built up from their momma.
The key is to socialize them in areas that other dogs do not frequent.
Avoid the Vet Clinic if possible! The vet clinic is full of sick animals and germs. Your first trip to see your veterinarian will be only a few days after bringing your puppy home. Take your puppy into the office in her crate, bring your own blanket or towel to place on the exam table. When the exam is complete put your puppy back into the crate or your arms. You can also call ahead and confirm that there have been no contagious dogs in the clinic that day. No Paws on the floor or outside the entrance of the veterinary clinic!
Also, avoid dog parks. All sorts of dogs frequent these areas and we do not know what they may be carrying or if they are even vaccinated. Dog parks are not always safe you know that you have trained your dog and care for her. You are never sure what to expect from all of the other dogs in the open area.
Avoid Pet Zones at public places and rest stops. If you are driving and need to stop for a potty break pull over to an area that is not popular, or stop at a fast-food location and choose a small patch of grass for potty time. Yes, other dogs may have been there but significantly less than at the alternative places. Parvovirus and Distemper are shed through dog feces. Do not let your dog sniff or go near other feces.
Great places to take your dog for socialization are Canadian Tire, Home Hardware and The Pet Store (The Pet Store ONLY is safe only if you use the following advice!) Take your puppy in a front pack, bring a blanket or your puppies bed and place it in the cart. No Paws on the ground or the buggy!
Your residential area is usually a great place to walk and socialize your puppy, there will not be a huge influx of dogs and it is unlikely that your neighbor's dogs would be unvaccinated.
Visiting friends and family with your puppy is a terrific idea. If they have an animal or dog that you know has up to date vaccinations and their pet is calm and will be friendly, then this is another wonderful opportunity to socialize your puppy. Set each social or new experience up for your puppy up to be a positive one. I will suggest bringing her crate with a blanket, kong, or toy, keep it open and beside you so that if he/she would like to go into it they can. Socialize at your puppies pace and if he/she wants to back off and is nervous let her. Get her comfortable again and move forward with the experience at her own pace. What works great to help make each experience a positive one is for you to bring treats. Have your friends offer her a treat when meeting her, your puppy will think people are wonderful because they give her treats.
It is not necessary for your dog to be in direct contact with people or other animals in order to be socializing. She just has to be near them and experience new things. Schools, sports fields and playgrounds are excellent places to socialize your puppy. Be mindful of not trying to socialize your puppy too quickly stay outside the perimeter of action at first, once your puppy feels safe you can move forward. Do not overwhelm your puppy, watch your puppies body language, is her tail wagging, is she backing off, are her ears and or tail down? If so calmly remove her from that situation with little emotion. Back up to the place, she felt more comfortable. Always bring your treats and treat pouch if you have one, reward and praise her often this will help build her confidence and let her know this is a wanted behavior and she will be open to more situations in the future. When others approach your puppy and want to pet her, ask them to kneel down, preferably alongside her and get at her level if they can. Give them one of your treats ask them to offer it to your puppy. If your puppy is comfortable have them pet her from the side, or under her chin. It is intimidating for dogs to have people towering over them and blocking their passage. We always want to create great experiences with people for our dogs. If your puppy is not comfortable pick her up and explain that your dog isn't ready for that kind of encounter yet. Do not force your puppy to do what she is not comfortable with. Bring her back to her comfort level and build her up overtime when she is ready. Remember all experiences should be positive.
Car rides are great for puppies and dogs alike! They get to see everything from the car window and it is another safe way to socialize. Go to the hospital take your puppy out and walk around, let him listen to the sirens. Take him to a bus stop, the traffic, movement, and other sounds are great ways to socialize. He does not need to interact with other people, you are desensitizing him to the environment. Your ultimate goal will be for your puppy to eventually not react to, but ignore the things around him and focus on you. This is how you will end up with a very well adjusted dog!
We will keep you up to date on any news regarding Clover's Litter arrival, with just a few weeks left I am sure you are all getting quite excited.
As always if you have any questions you can email us at chilliwacklabradoodle.com and we will be happy to answer them for you.