Bringing a new puppy home can bring both tremendous joy and incredible stress. Both puppy and owner need to know what is normal, healthy, and polite behaviour and what is not. This is where puppy socialisation comes in. Puppy Pre-School is aimed at socialising and training puppies and educating their owners so as to start them both off on the right foot.
There are sensitive periods of growth and mental development in all animals lives, including humans. The sensitive period in a dogs life, in which they need to be introduced to as many new and stimulating things as possible, is between the first 4-14 weeks of their lives. This is referred to as the ‘socialisation period’. The more situations you expose your dog to that are unfamiliar and varied, the more they will be able to manage the unfamiliar when they are older.
Many behavioural and social problems can occur if your puppy is not properly socialised including hyperactivity, aggression, anti-social behaviour, stress and fear related behaviour. In turn it can prove difficult to train an unsocialised dog because of these reactive behaviours.
A healthy and well cared for dog can live for around 14 years, unfortunately due to the number of dogs abandoned and euthanised each year the average life expectancy of a dog in Australia is 2-3 years. This horrific statistic can result from peoples lack of knowledge about their dogs needs and development, poor training skills, and the inadequate provision of a stimulating and fulfilling lifestyle.
The aim of Puppy Pre-School is to help prevent anti-social behaviour in puppies, educate owners about what behaviours to realistically expect from their dogs, and to build a long lasting, loving and respectful relationship between both owner and dog.
If I were to recommend one thing above all others for you to do for yourself and your puppy, it would be to attend puppy socialisation. It is that important.