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[MUSIC PLAYING] As the puppies turn eight weeks old, they're entering into a strong fear imprint period, where they'll be unusually sensitive to traumatic or frightening experiences. This spike in fear usually happens when the puppies are somewhere between eight and nine weeks old. These are only averages. The fear period can last a few minutes or an entire week, and each puppy will experience it slightly differently. So you have to be very alert to sudden signs of fear in your puppy. A well-raised puppy will have good bounceback, but it's still wise to use caution. Now is not the time to worry about introducing new and challenging experiences. Instead, owners and breeders should protect their puppies during this week, because a negative experience during this time can imprint fear in the puppy for the rest of his life. First vet visits, meeting new dogs, trips away from home, are all things better to put off until the puppy is past this fear period. Owners are often eager to take home their new puppy, and breeders are often eager to send them off. But it's probably not a good idea to place puppies in their new homes during this week. If you do have to take your puppy to the vet, make sure you bring treats and ask the vet to give the puppy some. Do not introduce your puppy to a new dog during this period unless you are 100% certain that that new dog is neutral. Rough treatment by another dog during this period runs a high risk of imprinting dog aggression on your puppy. By nine weeks old, the fear sensitivity normally will have settled down, and you can resume prudently challenging socialization. Again, this is the average. Be alert to your puppy's body language and dial back the challenges if you see your puppy looking suddenly fearful. If you can just shield your puppy for a few days, you won't have lost much socialization time, and you might just save yourself months or years of counter-conditioning an imprinted fear response. It's important that you learn to recognize and correctly guide your puppy through his fear periods. Here's an example of a puppy with an obvious fear-imprinting period. Amelia has seen and heard the vacuum almost every day of her life since she was born, and she's never shown any fear of it. Suddenly at eight and a half weeks, she appears to be terrified. Notice that her litter mates are not bothered by the vacuum at all. Puppies that have been raised well and introduced to challenges often may not show an obvious fear response. But it's important to realize, once again, that the underlying process is the same, and they're still more sensitive to fear around this period. Amelia may be experiencing a more dramatic spike in fear, but all the puppy should be treated equally carefully during this period. The vacuum's not novel for Amelia, and her fear-recovery capabilities have been carefully developed by us, so we feel comfortable training her to overcome her fear of the vacuum. Each time she approaches, instead of showing fear, we reinforce her with a treat. The basic procedure for all puppies is the same, but if you have a puppy that has not had the benefit of an enriched upbringing, it's unlikely that puppy will ever approach a vacuum cleaner running right next to his enclosure, so you'll have to proceed more gradually. Start with the vacuum as far away as you have to be in order for the puppy to remain calm. You might have to place it in a far corner of the room, or you may even have to take it into another room entirely. Before you move the vacuum any closer, you want to see a response such as Amelia is showing here. She seems to anticipate that looking at the vacuum will earn her a reward. It might take days until your puppy is sufficiently comfortable with the sound for you to move the vacuum any closer, but you have to read your puppy and let that be your guide as to how quickly you can advance. There's some controversy about when you should place puppies in their new homes. All things being equal, I would love to keep every puppy until 12 weeks and work with them, and get them through this primary socialization period. The breeder, being more experienced, oftentimes is going to be in a better position to properly guide the puppy through this time. The puppy is still going to bond with its family fantastically. Whether it's eight weeks or 12 weeks, the puppy is still going to bond. The problem is, there's a practical problem, that when you have a large litter of puppies, you really cannot devote the individual time to each puppy up until 12 weeks. So now we have to make decisions, which balance the expertise of the breeder with the puppy's needs for individual attention. We vaccinate our puppies for the first time at nine weeks old. Then it takes about seven days for the puppies to mount an immune response. So our puppies are not truly protected until they're 10 weeks old. At that time, we're comfortable sending puppies to their new homes with a blessing to their owners that the puppies are now ready to be socialized in the outside world. We tell our puppy buyers you'll have your puppy for the last two weeks in his critical socialization period, from 10 weeks old through 12 weeks old. Make the most of it. Pursuant to that, we give our new puppy owners four key points as a guideline to help them make the most of those remaining two weeks in the critical socialization period. First, get that puppy out and have him meet as many friendly dogs of as many different types as possible. Remember, dogs don't generalize, so try to find dogs of different sizes, colors, short and long coats, with both prick ears and drop ears. Second, accustom him to the experiences you want to enjoy with him as an adult. If you like to boat, take him on your boat. If you like to swim, take him swimming. If you have a store, bring him to the store. Accustom him to what he's going to live as an adult. Third, it's a double-edged sword. Remember, the emotional sensitivity that leaves the dog open to accepting new experiences also will, in equal measure, allow him to imprint fearful experiences. So if you are ever faced with the question of whether something might be too much or whether your neighbor's dog really is a nice dog or not, always, always, always opt for safety. Fourth, puppies need a lot of rest. Probably at the age of 10 weeks, I would say on the order of two or three to one should be two or three is nap and one is being out. So if you have your puppy out for an hour playing, he can take a two-hour nap. Puppies are adorable, and it can be very hard to resist a six or a seven-week old puppy if it's offered to you. Unfortunately, unscrupulous breeders know this, and they try and move their merchandise as quickly as possible. It should raise a red flag for you if a breeder offers you a puppy under seven weeks old. And the better breeders often hold on to the puppies longer, to ensure that your experience with the puppy is a good one for the rest of your lives together. From getting him from UJ, he already came to us with these pre-installed bonuses. What a difference. He was already coming and sitting on command at that age, you know. And I know from all the work that you did with him, I can only think that that had to have had made a major impact on him. [MUSIC PLAYING]

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 31 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 6
Posted by: norabean on Apr 2, 2018


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