So, you have a new puppy…..
Puppies have a critical learning period up to 16 weeks of age and it’s important to start all their training during this time
Here are 7 areas of puppy raising that will be impacted but this may help your puppy settle in.
👉 SOCIALISATION/Exposure to new things and people– ‘Social distancing’ may actually work in your puppy’s favour. This allows you to take your puppy for walks, absorbing the world from a reasonable distance without them being overwhelmed, smothered by cuddles or going into a socially arousing flap at the sight of every many and his dog.
• Anyone that comes to your home needs to meet your puppy; a friend, family member, delivery guy, postman. Even if they just fling a treat from a distance!
• Play dress ups! Don that Batman suit, wig, cowboy hat, trench coat, hi-vis shirt, walking stick and pram you have hiding away in the cupboard and allow your puppy to experience different characters. Get creative! Just go about each day dressed in a new outfit. Experiment with different accents and personalities if you feel compelled.
👉 BUILDING INDEPENDENCE– Puppies are highly social creatures and need to learn, through small successions, how to feel comfortable being left alone. Set up a puppy pen or a crate and ensure they have periods throughout the day where they are experiencing being separate from you. Stay nearby to begin with and then work towards leaving the room. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you spend the next few weeks/months with your puppy attached to you every minute of the day, I can promise you now, your puppy will suffer severely when you do need to return to work/school.
👉 THE LEAD – It will be very easy to completely forget about putting your puppy on lead if you are never venturing outside. But this will produce a problem down the track when the isolation period lifts and you eventually do decide to go for a walk.
Practice all training on lead in the home. Sit, drop, stay etc. this will begin to form a positive association to the lead. Put your pup on lead occasionally and go for a walk around the back yard. Keep the lead loose and let them just explore. After you’ve gone for a walk, practice the ‘Cafe Dog’ exercise over a cuppa by tying your puppy’s lead to your chair the same way you would at a cafe. Allow them to experience settling and sleeping underneath you.
👉 TIME – Boy, oh boy does a new puppy do better if you have the time to invest in them in the early days! Time to enrich, time to play, time to train, time to practise rest and crate time! Use this time wisely to prepare for when you don’t have a lot of time down the track!
👉 CONFIDENCE BUILDING – Sit down with your family tonight, brainstorm and write down everything you would like your puppy to be familiar with and relaxed around as an adult; balls, bikes, skateboards, postman, water, cars etc.
Now get creative again! 🤔 Think of ways you can bring all these things into your home so your puppy can experience them. If you are struggling to bring a car into your living room, And it’s safe to do so, go and sit on your nature strip, walk up and down your street or venture to an empty park.
👉 SOUNDS – Down load the Sound Proof Puppy Training App and start desensitising your pup to all the weird and wacky noises our world has to offer.
👉 PUPPY SCHOOL – A must….Read on…..
Puppies First Day at Training
Like Children heading for School for the first time, a Puppies first day can be a daunting experience. Even their parents can feel a little lost. At Eastern our aim is to make you and your Puppy feel welcome right from the start. Believe me within a very short time your new Puppy and you will be feeling comfortable.
Puppies from eight weeks of age can attend the Branch and we encourage you to bring your family along to share in the experience. There is no better time to start training your Dog as at this early time in their lives, it is crucial to their socialization and well being.
Bring your Puppy up to the Clubhouse and without a doubt, you will be met with open arms, or your Puppy will. Our members love German Shepherds so expect everyone to want to see your new Puppy. Make yourself known and ask for help. You will be introduced to our membership Officer and Chief Instructor to help you find where things are.
You should arrive 15 to 20 minutes early so you have time to meet some of the Committee and Instructors along with having a chance to register your Puppy.
Our Membership Officer will take you through the forms when you are ready to join and introduce you around. Bring along any paperwork or Vaccination Certificates you might already have.
Some Common Questions people ask?
What should I bring with me to School?
• Soft Collar and lead. Make sure the lead is not too long – a meter or meter and a half is fine.
• Treats, make sure they are soft treats that smell good to your puppy e.g. small pieces of cooked sausage, cheese, chicken etc. Avoid dry hard biscuits as they are not so appealing or easy to nibble quickly.
• A favourite toy for your puppy to play with, that you can hold or tuck into your pocket.
• We recommend you invest in a “Bum-Bag” to make it easier to carry your reward treats, toy, Poo-bags, car keys, etc.
• If you have bought your Puppy through a GSDCV Breeder, Bring your free class coupons.
• Wear sensible shoes, i.e. runners, not loose sandals or thongs.
When can I start Puppy School?
• As soon as you collect your puppy from the breeder, bring it to class. Puppies need the socialisation of other puppies and dogs so they can continue learning doggy social skills.
Should I bring my own water bowl?
• We do provide several bowls of water around the ground, but you are welcome to bring your puppies bowl and fill it from the tap.
Should I feed my puppy before school?
• We recommend that you do not give your puppy breakfast before school. Firstly this may reduce the likelihood of your puppy feeling car sickness, also a puppy that is hungry will respond more enthusiastically to treat rewards.
What happens if the weather is hot?
• If the weather is hot the instructors will modify the activity level of the class to suit. We also set up paddle pools for the puppies to cool off & play in, as well as conduct classes inside the clubhouse, under the fans….but if the weather is going to be 35 degrees or more, all training will be cancelled
Classes are normally held for an hour. During this time your instructor will be happy to answer any questions you have. Feel free to enjoy the services of the canteen after the class and chat with the other members of the branch. We all love to relax, share a coffee and talk about our dogs. Everyone is welcome to join in.
Familiarize yourself with “About Eastern”, our “Facilities”, “Committee and Instructors” and “Branch Rules and Guidelines” on this website. If there is anything you need to know don’t hesitate in asking. There are no stupid questions.