The most important stage of your dogs life
Every single thing a puppy sees, hears, feels, smells and tastes, every meeting he has and every new thing he discovers produces literally trillions of new brain connections in those first 16 weeks, and they will last for life. He is learning what things are a part of his new life and his new family, what is safe and who is in his social group.
Experience is everything
While we can’t hope to introduce every single thing a puppy will have to accept later in life, the more positive experiences guided by us that they get in this period, the more accepting they will be of novel things and situations. Not only that, but they will also be developing their learning skills, learning how to problem solve and deal with the inevitable frustrations of life, which in turn will help with their behaviour and training in the future.
A puppy who is properly trained in this period, will be far more likely to grow up to be confident, calm, learn new things more easily, be less likely to respond to new things fearfully or aggressively – and in short, is more likely to become a good family dog. In contrast, a dog who has not had this good start in life is more likely to be over-reactive, unable to concentrate, fearful, a slower learner, develop preventable behaviour problems – and in fact have a less well developed brain than their well socialised friends.
If you have an older dog...
...do not despair! Older pets who may have been rescued, who have not been properly socialised will still benefit greatly from training and as they are exposed to more and more experiences they may have missed out on in earlier life they will start to respond and realise that life is fun for them too. We will work with you and your dog through any difficulties you may have and you will definitely see the difference as they become more confident in the world around them.