It Takes a Village
Part two of our series is designed to help you build the support group that you will need when you bring your pup home.
Find a Low Stress, Fear Free Vet
Why is this important? Imagine a scenario where you are working diligently to raise a relaxed, confident dog. Then you take him to a vet clinic that creates a situation, where all the new experiences cause him high levels of stress, anxiety and fear. It’s not uncommon for pets to become wary of being poked and prodded. Finding an animal clinic that uses a low stress, fear free approach will help ensure this doesn’t happen.
Reserve a Spot in Class
Spring usually is the optimal time to get a puppy. It allows you lots of outdoor time instead of being cooped up in the house over winter. Puppy classes fill up quickly so it’s prudent to reserve a spot early. A well-run class is the best possible place to socialize your puppy to other puppies. Do your homework and choose a professional dog trainer. We offer training tips to help keep you on track in-between puppy classes. Be sure to sign up. If the school offers pre puppy consultations take advantage of them.
It’s been proven time and again. People who read up on early training are far less panicked once they get their puppy and more likely to be successful. When issues arise, it’s “oh, right I remember reading about this… and I know what to do.” This is what our site is for. We usually tell people to start with the Development Chart. It’s fun to look up what stage your pup is at. You can do that or go straight to Getting Started or How Dogs Learn and take it from there. Read a little bit everyday. It helps pass the time until your puppy is ready to come home.
A Support System
An eight-week-old puppy needs to go outside to the bathroom approximately every two hours. As the puppy grows, this time period will lengthen. This chart will help you gauge how long your pup can hold it.
If you have to be out of the house for extended periods, you can’t leave a young puppy alone for long stretches. You may consider enlisting a service that can help with this while you are at work. Do your due diligence when selecting such a service, or ask a trusted friend.
What is Available? What is Appropriate?
Doggie day care, dog walkers, and dog sitters are some of the services that you can enlist. If you consider one of these services make sure that all your hard work is not undermined by an outfit that is not “socialization” or “early puppy training” savvy. Be clear on the organization’s qualifications including certification, first aid training, and their training philosophies. Force-free methods and positive reinforcement are key.
In Part 3 it’s time to go pick up your puppy. We’ll get you ready for the drive home and what to prepare for in the days ahead.