Wow, time is really flying by. Pete and Rimante have had "Spikey" a few weeks now. Here is how the first 10 days went and why this time is so important!
It is still early days for young Spikey, time to bond, time to settle in his new home and get used to his new routine. It is very important for him to get to know us, for us to get to him and for us all to get along in the "new normal"after he was taken from his Mother and 2 brothers.
For us as owners this was hugely exciting but for Spikey, it was a huge change: a new environment, new owners, new food, new brother (our cat), new home, and many new experiences.
This time of training and socialising is probably the most important time for a dog. It is the building bricks to ensuring your puppy has the opportunity to experience lots of different people, scenarios, places, and other dogs but it must be done in a positive way, whilst they are still open to new things with enthusiasm, rather than fear. The main period in which you can expose your puppy to new things, with the greatest chance of success is NOW, before he is 16 weeks old.
Here at the practice, under normal circumstances we would be offering all our new puppies a chance to come to our "Puppy Play" sessions. Sadly due to corona-virus, this is a service we can not offer currently. If you have a young puppy and would like to have more in formation on how, what, when to help socialise your puppy, then please contact the practice. We can supply you with a tick sheet of all the recommended things to expose your puppy to before they are 16 weeks old.
Now back to Spikey......
In the last 10 days Pete and Rimante have had the chance to let him meet and see/hear/experience our cat Rocky, most of our neighbours, of various ages including children (all of whom have fed him some treats!), people on bikes, joggers, sheep, horses, squirrels, a couple of bikers (whom we asked to feed him some treats, whilst wearing their motorcycle helmets!). He is getting used to wearing a collar, harness and walking on 2 different types of lead. He has been in 4 different crates, the car, the garden and of course, the work place.
He has access to a variety of toys, various other dogs, along with their owners. Lots of noise around the home, music, the washing machine, tumble drier, the hoover and Pete's whistling. Being owned by vets he has of course has his nails trimmed, teeth brushed, a full head to toe examination to help him get used to being at the vets. This includes: looking in his mouth and ears, playing with his feet, especially the toes, getting him used to be touched all over (both by hand and with a brush) and he has even had his first bath and has started having his teeth brushed! All which to Spikey has been great fun!
A little quote from Pete - "Is he the perfect puppy?, we think so, but obviously there have been times where we would just want him to magically disappear, when he bites our toes, hangs on our trousers, decides the house plants are toys, needs a wee just as we sit down for dinner, bites at hair (not Pete's!). But most of the time , he is just adorable! We know the time and effort we put in now, will be totally worth it in the years to come!
Soon he will be having his second vaccinations, after which we can let him go out more, meet more people and dogs, see different parks, woods and so much more. The adventures will really begin and we can't wait! We will keep you all updated!
Here is a link to a previous blog covering puppy developement during Covid-19. If you would like to find out more, click here: https://oakbarnvets.com/puppy-development-during-covid-19/