“Hello. We need some puppy training. He is 14 weeks old and almost ready to start – we have just been waiting to take him out until it’s safe after his final vaccination”
My heart sinks.
This is a call I receive all the time and every time, I feel a combination of sadness and frustration at hearing it. I could have helped that puppy so much more had the owners called me earlier. But they have been given misleading information that could affect their dog’s entire life. In fact this scenario is not the minority, but the majority, and it’s one of the main causes for behavioural problems.
When you first get a puppy, you want to make sure you do everything you can to set them up to be a healthy, well mannered and vital dog when they grow up. So of course you listen to the first professionals you have contact with – most often the breeder, the pet stores and the veterinarian.
But worryingly, many breeders, pet professionals and vets aren’t telling you what you really need to know about your pup’s development, or they’re giving you the wrong information, and some are even giving advice that could cause harm to your dog and their future behaviour. Because, wrapped in “puppy training” is something perhaps even more critical: puppy development. [Read more…]