If I was to ask a bunch of new puppy owners what they wanted for their puppy, I guarantee they would all say ‘socialisation’!
But what socialisation means to a puppy owner, is very different to what it means to a dog trainer. For a puppy owner socialisation is more about play and fun times with other puppies and dogs. For a trainer, they understand that socialisation is vital in developing their life skills and therefore a resilient puppy or adult dog for life.
‘Early Experiences Affect Resilience’
What does this mean?
Resilience is simply how well a dog bounces back from a negative experience. A resilient dog is one who is better equipped to deal with the demands of modern society: noises, people, fast paced changes, different environments and social interactions.
A more resilient dog is that dog we all admire, sitting calmly beside his owner at busy cafe’, relaxed at the vet or walking loosely on the lead past a noisey school playground.
When I think of resilience I’m always reminded of my time working in the Automotive Service Industry where the saying ‘prevention is better than the cure’. We service our cars in hope that any mechanical breakdown is only a minor hiccup in the road and not weeks spent in the repair shop, or worse! Regular servicing of your car should mean a vehicle that is rarely, if at all, off the road.
The same concept of ‘prevention is better than the cure’ certainly applies to our puppies!
But in the same breath I think – this is hard, how do we do this?
What resources should I rely on?
I have to tell you that I feel great empathy for the newbie dog owner starting this journey together and not knowing where to start, or even being scared of getting it wrong. Or the person who has had a dog in the past, who feels like they did get it all wrong with the last dog and is desperate to not have a repeat of the last 15 dog ownership years.
Now, let’s think back to our car servicing for a minute. The main ingredient in my recipe for a resilient puppy is ‘prevention’.
But prevent what?
How do you know what you need to prevent?
What experiences do you need to be prepared for?
How do you recognise what’s occurring and know when to apply what particular strategy?
The whole thing makes my head hurt !! (underline, bold, exclamation mark x 1000)
Well, I’m going to help you put some of these preventative strategies into action, today.
If you would like to get the ingredients to help prepare for building a resilient puppy, and what you can do from even before you bring your new puppy home, pop in your email on the right and I’ll start by sending you my Puppy School Checklist, completely free.