Training and handling of young puppies – before weaning

TRAINING AND HANDLING OF PUPS

After careful study of several different puppy raising theories, I am working on each of Sammie’s puppies individually to help them manage stress and to be better adjusted and able to handle daily life with their families. I have done this with my previous two litters, and all of the puppies seem to be doing quite well in their new homes, and the owners have been highly impressed with the temperament and steadiness of the pups.

At least once a day, for maybe 5 to 10 minutes, I handle and work each puppy individually. For a brief moment, I hold them up so their head is higher than their tails, then have their head lower than their tail.  I cradle them on their back, and I play with their cute little toes. I also have put them for about 10 seconds on a cold pack to help them handle stress later in life. While at first they whined or wiggled, now they are relaxed and seem to enjoy my handling of them. Either I or my husband have sat on the couch and let them climb around on our laps or the couch. So far, they have explored a bit, then settled down on our laps and fell asleep. While handling them, I kiss their soft little bellies, heads and bodies, getting them used to being touched all over, and having people make funny noises around them.

To get them used to different surfaces, and being by themselves and away from their littermates, I am working with each one of Sammie’s puppies individually and taking them to different rooms in the house. I let them explore wherever I place them on their own, usually with Sammie close by. They are usually relaxed and curious, rarely whining or fussing and seem to enjoy exploring.

Currently, they are in the living room, so the other dogs, cats and my husband and I are regularly in the room. They also hear us cooking in the kitchen, as it’s just one room, and listen to the television when we watch shows or movies. I will be putting a radio in the room and turning it on while we are gone so they get used to people’s voices.

Today, they were very interested in coming to the doorway of their crate, Little Joy, Sammie’s almost twin, escaping out of the crate first. I will be moving them to a larger puppy pen so they can start to learn to walk and play.

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