• Emily

Echo’s Endeavors: 9-weeks-old

This is the second blog in the Echo’s Endeavor’s series. The intention of this series is to be used as a reference point as to what one can expect or do with their puppy at each stage of development. All puppies are individuals, so this should be used as a guideline and not a rulebook. To see all posts in this series, click here. To see all posts in the Maple Media series, click here.

Age: 9-weeks-old

Weight: 9 lbs.

Introduction to other dogs: Echo has met quite a few dogs in the past week! She met a few client dogs, dogs at the kennel and saw a variety of dogs on our outings. I want to reiterate that it is really important to set boundaries at this age and to advocate for the puppy to keep them safe. There are many adult dogs that do not appreciate having a puppy around (like Harley). It’s important to respect that and to not push them to interact with the puppy. If you notice that the adult dog doesn’t seem to be enjoying the interaction, such as them trying to leave the situation or the puppy is pestering them by biting on their ears or constantly licking their face, then take the puppy away from the adult. Some adult dogs will give appropriate corrections, but most won’t. So what you end up with is a puppy that hasn’t been corrected enough and learns that being annoying and acting inappropriately is okay, or a puppy that gets hurt because the adult was too intense in their correction.

Again, the same goes for the reverse situation. There are many times when I have a puppy running from an adult in fear, but the adult (with good intentions) thinks it’s a game and will continue to chase the puppy. That’s obviously even scarier for the puppy, so be sure to recall the adult back to you to allow the puppy to get a comfortable distance away and settle.

I hope this goes without saying, but please don’t ever take your puppy to a dog park. Dog parks are often full of ill-behaved dogs that will set a bad example of what appropriate behavior around dogs looks like. This is a great way to create social issues or get your puppy hurt. Most people don’t understand or recognize dog body language and they allow very scary behavior that could or will get your puppy hurt. Along with that, I don’t allow any of my dogs (puppies or adults) to ever greet other dogs on leash. This is a tense situation and even the most social dogs can be reactive in this scenario. I do not allow any of my dogs to greet dogs that I don’t know and if I am introducing dogs, it’s always done in a relaxed environment (like off-leash in my yard) where I can monitor and advocate for everyone. If you are lacking dog friends, please reach out to a local trainer who can set you up with calm, stable dogs that are well socialized and can give your puppy the positive, safe experiences they need.

Crate Training: Crate training has gotten significantly better this past week! Echo is spending a lot of time in her crate in my car, and in our house, with very little protest. If she’s tired, she goes right in and sleeps. It is so, so important that puppies learn as early as possible that their crate is a comfortable, safe place where they can relax. Regardless of what your future plans are, there is never a time when crate training appropriately is a bad idea. If you have a bird dog that you plan on hunting, training or testing, crating is absolutely necessary. To travel to hunt, to be in the car during training/testing days, to stay at a trainer’s, etc., they will have to be crated. It makes the experience so much less stressful if they already have positive experiences with the crate prior to being put in mo