Lockdown is the best thing that could have happened for puppies that have just arrived in their human household.
Lockdown has created the perfect environment for out puppies to get to grips with our crazy human ways without becoming overwhelmed and overstimulated. Overwhelmed and overstimulated is often what happens in our bid to do the right thing and socialise our puppies and expose them to absolutely everything as soon as is humanly possible.
Yes, it’s important to help your puppy get used to their new environment, the new people in their life and some of the things that they may encounter as they grow up.
However, puppies have an innate wisdom, and by that I mean it’s built in to them to be calm and responsive unless there is something to fear.
This means the best thing that you can do to help your puppy become better socialised and more able to cope in our world is figure out what scares them.
I bet you have lots of things at home to get your started, here are some examples: hoover, dogs passing the window, birds/cats/leafs in the garden, small children, other dogs in the house, pots/pans in the kitchen, shadows on the wall, the list is endless.
It is so much kinder to work with them at home with a low number of people so they can get used to this world at their pace.
When puppies are scared they will become reactive and unresponsive.
It’s worth noting that all puppies will go from being calm and responsive to reactive and unresponsive many times throughout the day and that’s ok, it’s normal and to be expected.
Our job as their human carer is to start to get wise to these moments and take them away from whatever is causing them fear, allow them time to relax, and if it’s something you would like them to get used to for example your 4 year old child! expose them again to the fear and over time with careful observation and patience your puppy will be have less fear and will be able to remain calm and responsive in the face of their fear. (In this example it might be worth educating the child too, but don’t ask me about kids, I have no idea…)
Now it the time to relax and enjoy lockdown with your new puppy, I absolutely promise you as we come out of lockdown and you start to expose your puppy to more and more, you will have built up your puppy’s trust in you to keep them safe and they will have built up their confidence at a gentle, relaxed and enjoyable pace.
Have fun and enjoy all those puppy cuddles.
If you would like to join me for some general doggy chat about how your puppies and dogs are coping in lockdown, grab a cuppa and your favourite doggy friend. Fudge and I will be on zoom at 3pm Tuesday 21st April. Drop me an e-mail and I will send you the link.
Peaceful paws always.