Many caring puppy owners are hurting their pups! Parvo. Giardia. Corona. Whatever you are afraid of and/or whatever you are afraid might harm your little puppy is largely a waste of mental and emotional energy and legitimately just may harm the very pup you are so desperately concerned about protecting. How? Why? It’s because of a couple of reasons.
1. Because people have the power to create what they focus on – be it good or bad.
2. Because people, especially scared people, tend to make poor decisions – particularly in regards to handling nature.
Let’s look at the second reason. You love and care about your pup. You ought to care, the thing was costly enough on the old bank account. Gone are the days when dogs were “Free to a good home” as seen from the ad in your local newspaper. Now pups are thousands and the vet bills add plenty to that, and so does training, and consistent grooming. You care enough to shell out the cash and that puppy face is irresistible however irascible the pup’s behavior may be. You care and so you want to protect your little pup from all the dangers of the outside world.
Frankly, I’d be more afraid of your handling skills as an owner and your potentially excessively unnatural attention that you most likely are showering upon the poor pup (most puppy owners fail miserably in this regard and it’s only by the grace of dog that more dogs don’t let it go to their heads and become monster brats that dominate everything within their environment). Too much attention directed at a pup destroys any and all respect towards the owner.
I’d be concerned, socially and behaviorally speaking, if you are not taking full advantage of the first year of life the pup has with you and your family. The first six months are of particular importance within the life of all rapidly growing canines. Bear in mind that the incredible physical growth rate we all see during the first six months of life for every puppy is also a tremendous mental and emotional time of growth within the pup. The future dog’s social skills, or lack thereof, are greatly influenced during these first six months of puppy life. The first two months you can’t really do anything about because that was up to the breeder and whether they were a quality breeder or not. The first two months behavior depends largely on whether the pups had a balanced, healthy mother and father that they were able to spend time with and learn from. It also greatly depends on proper human handling and the ability to explore their surroundings. But what happens when a person buys and brings home a new pup into their household?
What should happen is a steadily growing relationship built on the proper touch, space, movement and energy. A relationship of mutual respect and trust that is demonstrated physically and spatially and as the younger member of the family mirrors the energy of the older members. That is dog language. That is how dogs build good relationships amongst each other. (Notice there is nothing about food or treats or excessive human talking or obedience). The relationship based on dog language and respect and trust is what helps a pup mature into a fantastic and easy life companion in any situation or circumstance. Dogs don’t do obedience training with their young and yet their young certainly aren’t (if left to their own devices) growing up afraid of their surroundings! (Only a human would raise a pup into a fearful and neurotic dog)
Each month of a pup’s life is the human equivalent of a year or two! Think of all the behaviors learned within the mind of a human child during a year or two…now apply that to the puppy in just a month’s time!
How do I know what this guy is telling me is a fact you may ask? Well, I don’t know a lot of seven, eight or even nine year old human children that are naturally looking to breed with the opposite sex at those young ages (Thank God). But…I do know that loads of non neutered and non spayed 1 year old dogs would want to get in on the mating action if they could even when they are just a year old. My point – dogs grow and mature at a much, much faster rate than the previously believed “seven year average” to every one human year. Basically, humans destroy pups and their behavior every single day and many times it’s done through letting a little FEAR creep in through the door of the mind!
Instead of keeping your pup under lock and stinking key because the vet said it’s unsafe to socialize or take your pup to the dog park unless and until he/she has had their last round of shots…maybe you use your brain and walk the pup around your neighborhood, or at a Costco parking lot, or near a local park (not a dog park but a people park). In most cases you will be absolutely fine even though there is a slight risk. Do NOT roll your puppy in another dog’s feces. Do NOT pour contaminated urine into your pup’s water dish. If you follow this advice chances are things’ll be fine.
When I fly on an airplane there’s a slight risk the plane may crash burning into the ground and killing everybody aboard – but I still fly. When I get into my car there’s an even greater risk that I could die in a horrible car accident (it happens to people every day around the world) but we all still drive. If you really care about your puppy you won’t deny months/years worth of mental and emotional stimulation that lead the pup into social success and future maturity and relaxation just in case he/she might catch parvo or corona virus or whatever else that may cause you fear or discomfort.
If you truly care about your puppy you must disagree with fear. If you desire an excellent, calm, socially-adept pet and family member you must socialize the heck out of the pup and do it as early and as often as possible. Do not let your fear win out over your pup’s sociability and intelligence. Make the right choice. Be a person of action…dogs love that! Say no to fear by way of action. End of story.
(Keep an eye out for my third book on dog behavior! I plan to release it in 2020 (if the world is still functioning). We will explore the 5 incredible senses of the dog and the 4 Pillars of dog language and behavior training. In this book I will reveal more of the Garrett Stevens Method than ever before! Stay tuned all you rabid dog lovers!