The Social K9

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Encourage every member of the family to gently "roll" your puppy in their lap while they scratch the puppy's tummy. This is a great time to introduce your pup to grooming; cleaning ears, clipping nails, and brushing teeth. Treat and praise!

Perhaps the most important early socialization and potty training tool is a puppy crate. Your patience and persistence will pay off if you crate train your puppy from its first night home.


2 Months

At eight weeks, a puppy is developmentally very similar to a two year-old child.


















Just like a two year-old child, you must always watch an eight week-old puppy. Everything goes in their mouth for a taste. They begin to understand what “No” means, but they may not always obey when you say it.

Potty training is your first, and ongoing, order of business. Like a two year-old who gets tired of sitting in a dirty diaper, two month-old puppies begin to dislike being in contact with their own feces and urine. This is why they go into your bedroom to poop on the carpet, and then happily rejoin the family.

When it comes to potty training, you must be in the room and see the puppy begin to squat in order to "catch them in the act." Even a few seconds later, puppies cannot connect a misbehavior with a corrected behavior. Some people find it helpful to connect their puppy to themselves with a leash or teather during the first few days. That way, if the puppy squats, you can quickly pick them up and take them outside to finish. Using a command such as "Better go" or "Hurry up" will help the puppy understand what you are asking them to do. When they are successful outside, be sure to praise them with a sweet voice and physical affection. It will only take a few weeks for your puppy to "get it."

A puppy crate is your first positive socialization tool, and will speed potty training along. Puppies do not want to soil their crate, so they learn to "hold it" until you give them the opportunity to go outside. The crate is also a place where your new puppy can go for peace and quiet. Particularly if you have children in the house, allow the puppy to retreat to their crate whenever they need a break. Begin to use the crate as soon as possible, preferably the first night home. Throw in a few kibbles or an ice cube to encourage them to "kennel." Although the first few nights will be noisy, you will be very happy with the results. You will have a crate-trained -- and most likely potty trained -- puppy in just a few weeks.

 















Socialization Tips at 2 Months:

  • Introduce your puppy to their collar and leash. From day one, have your puppy wear its collar. Throughout the day, attach the puppy's leash,, and walk from room to room, or from the house to the yard.
  • Feed your puppy from your hand for its first few meals.. Sit down and teach your puppy to wait patiently as its food moves from a bowl, to your hand, to their mouth. Feed your puppy the recommended amount -- generally between 1/2 to 1 cup, 3 times a day -- for ten minutes. Do not leave any food in the bowl. If the food is gone, or the puppy loses interest, take the bowl away until the next meal. Put any leftover kibble in your pockets or a small treat pouch to use throughout the day for training. Give kibbles often throughout the day to reward your puppy for coming to you when called, or for looking up at you when you say their name.
  • Touch and handle your puppy every day. Teach your puppy to lay quietly in your lap, or on the floor. Gently touch their paws, ears, and hind quarters. Give treats often, and lovingly say their name. Early, affectionate handling from every member of the family will help your puppy bond to all of you, and will teach them trust of a human’s touch. Your veterinarian and groomer will thank you for it!















  • Introduce other healthy puppies and dogs in a controlled setting. Even among professionals, some controversy remains about when it is safe to take young puppies into the world before their initial vaccinations are complete. However, there is overwhelming evidence that the benefits of early socialization far outweigh the risk of disease.