Maple Media: 9-weeks-old
This is the second blog in the Maple Media 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.
Weight: 10.7 lbs
Crate Training – Like I mentioned last week, Maple is doing really well with crate training! She is still sleeping well over night and spending some time in her crate throughout the day. No real changes since my last update!
Potty Training – Her potty training has gone really well. In the almost two weeks she has been here, she’s had two small accidents (peeing inside). She has yet to have an accident in her crate! We are still doing our best to keep her outside as much as possible or to keep her in her crate when we cant actively supervise her.
Training – Maple has learned a few new things this past week and is doing excellent with her training! She has a really solid recall and clearly understands sit and place. She’s getting the hang of down, but still needs a lure on occasion. I have introduced “touch” (front feet on an object) and “through” (stand between my legs) and she’s already doing super with those, too! Now that she has most of the basics down, we try them in new places to test her understanding.
Socialization – This past week has really been about socialization! “Socialization is creating purposeful, positive experiences for your puppy to prepare them for life in the human world.” There is a critical socialization period for puppies that is typically around 16-weeks-old, but can vary depending on the puppy. What this means is that anything you want your puppy to cope well with throughout their life needs to be introduced before their critical socialization period ends. This makes socialization the most important thing you can do with your puppy!
“Undersocialized puppies WILL have behavioral problems!”
What is socialization? Many people believe that just exposing their puppy to as many people as possible is socialization, which isn’t true. For one, socialization is not just people, it can be anything! Socialization can be dogs (and other animals), people (all sorts of people), places (the vet, parks, a friend’s house, etc.), things (cars, grooming tools, household items, etc.), experiences (baths, nail clipping, grooming, riding in the car, swimming, etc.), environments (different surfaces like slick floors, different smells, different noises, etc.) and so on! Anything you don’t want your puppy to be fearful of can fall under socialization.
It’s equally important to ensure the quality of the experience, as it is the quantity of experiences. If your puppy is afraid of an object and you force the puppy to touch it, that is not a quality experience and will not lead to better socialized puppy. Let your puppy go at it’s own pace in order to build their confidence. The more positive experiences, the better!
There are vets who do not recommend you socialize your puppy until after they have all of their vaccines, which can be their whole critical socialization period. Be wise in your choices: rather than taking your puppy to a place like a dog park or pet store, socialize your puppy with dogs you know that are healthy and friendly. Also, your puppy should not meet every person or dog they see. It is still a great socialization opportunity to see, but not greet, other dogs and people!
I highly recommend that anyone with a new puppy or puppy on the way watches the following video about puppy socialization: puppy socialization video.
This past week Maple has been to a variety of places, including Tractor Supply, Lowes, the local gamelands, a campus, a hiking trail, and a local park. This is a great opportunity to see things she wouldn’t at home and gives her plenty of experience riding in the car. In the car, I put her in her same crate that she stays in at home. With all the trips, she’s already become a first class passenger and is doing super!
Stay tuned for a 10-week-old update!