Our days are getting very full here… and they’re going to continue that way as these pups get older. We’re having sight and sound play, imitation TV school, water play and rides on a flutter board, practicing going up and down stairs, being introduced to new rooms, eating out of many different dishes, and best of all- one on one time giving the pups little massages.
It’s interesting for people to watch our videos or check out our blogs and see what our pups are doing, but I know people also wonder (and some have even asked me) why in the world are we doing all this extra work ??
I have several reasons for doing what we do, the 1st is that there are far too many dogs who are re-homed or end up in shelters because they’re viewed as “bad” dogs who don’t obey their owners. Dogs optimal brain connections are made during the first 4 months of their lives, so those first 8+ weeks they spend with the breeder should be prime learning & socialization time, otherwise they’re 50% behind by the time they join their families. That’s a lot of catching up to do in the initial 2 months they spend with their new families, on top of adjusting to a new home and all the training that should be taking place in weeks 8-16. That’s a lot of extra stress that the puppy will be put under & a lot of pressure for their new families, when they could be spending the time getting to know their puppy while picking up from where we left off vs. starting everything from a blank slate.
Another reason for putting all this extra work into our puppies is that we’re trying very hard to raise our pups as if all of them are going into service training. If a dog is going to be trained for a specific job, we need to set him/her up for success by laying the ground work initially. My theory is that if we set our standards high, no matter what kind of life our puppies go on to live… pet pups, emotional support, therapy or working service dogs, they’ve all received the same initial imprinting and made the same essential brain connections, so they’re ready to be the best they can be. Of course we know not every dog has what it takes to successfully train as a service animal, but by giving them this fantastic start in life, the ones who don’t quite make the working training circuit will still absolutely have what it takes to live a happy life with an excellent foundation as a family pet or therapy dog.
What we do isn’t magic or a onetime fix… the puppy families who bring our little ones into their lives must continue the work we’ve started. When pups have a foundation in place, their families won’t need to put in hours and hours each day… all that’s needed is consistency to work with the pup a little bit each day, being consistent with rules, rewards, and lots of love. The rewards for pup and the puppy family will mean health and happiness for years to come… and hopefully fewer and fewer dogs labelled as bad & destined to live in shelters. When small efforts are made day in and day out we can’t help but be successful!!