Puppy temperaments are evaluated as they grow up and through temperament testing at 7 weeks.  A pup's activity level, drive, reaction to new things, and aptitude for certain dog sports are all carefully considered when making a match.  Your lifestyle, family members, activity level, and level of experience in raising and training a pup are all considered when picking out a puppy for you. Colour and gender preference will be considered also.  Pups will not be promised to new owners until their puppy temperament tests at 7 weeks. Careful notes are taken as pups mature and together with the observations of the puppy tester will determine which puppy is best suited for each family.  Allowing an experienced breeder to choose your puppy for you ensures that you end up with a puppy that fits in smoothly with you and your family.  A shy, quiet pup would not be happy in a large busy family, and a high drive pup with a strong work ethic would not be happy just laying on the couch waiting for you to come home from work. Good family placements help pups reach their full potential.

SOCIALISATION

Socialisation is not just haphazardly meeting a few other dogs and the rest of your family. Many breeders advertise that their pups are 'well socialised' because their family members and children have played with them. In reality, those pups are only socialised to that particular house and yard and that particular family. Socialisation of a pup is so much more than that. The window for socialisation is relatively short, MOST EXPERTS AGREE THAT PUPS NOT WELL SOCIALISED BY 12-16 WEEKS MAY HAVE LOST THE OPPORTUNITY TO REACH THEIR FULL POTENTIAL. Pups need to be exposed to new sounds, sights, surfaces to walk on, places, experiences, and also learn to allow handling and grooming.  However, these experiences need to be controlled so that the pup gains confidence and learns to 'bounce back' from anything upsetting.  Insisting that a pup continue to interact with something or someone when they are uncomfortable will only teach him that you don't have his best interests at heart.  Better to back up to the level where they were last comfortable (allow him to approach new people at his pace- don't play pass the puppy if he is obviously not happy being held by strangers, back away from the a scary new object until you find a distance where he is not upset and click and treat his interest, etc) Also, coddling your puppy when he is afraid teaches him that you agree, there was something to be afraid of. Far better to act nonchalant, approach the new object and touch it yourself, showing pup that it is a perfectly safe situation and you are not worried at all.  Helping your pup gain confidence and learning to recover from upset is your goal.

Socialisation should be ongoing, I highly recommend that you read at least one book on proper puppy socialisation and have a well thought out plan in place to accomplish your pup's socialisation goals before you pick up your puppy.  A puppy play or socialisation class is absolutely necessary for continued dog-dog socialisation and for you to learn to redirect your pup to focus attention back to you while your pup is wound up and excited.

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