This year has changed the way we live and with working from home becoming the norm many are seeing the dream of owning a dog become a reality.
With reports of puppy ownership rising throughout the coronavirus pandemic it is worth remembering the huge responsibility that comes with owning a puppy and how, as owners, we are vital to shaping our dogs personality. Many make the mistake of failing to appreciate the time it takes to encourage good social behaviours and the long term benefits of this early investment. Sadly, this lack of investment can often lead to unwanted traits, such as aggression, which over time become unmanageable for owners and often results in dogs ending up in rescue centres or worse.
To prevent this sad situation arising we strongly encourage all dogs to be socialised from as early as possible. Even puppies at just 12 weeks of age are incredibly receptive to training – just as long as they have had their full set of jabs first! The first year of a dog’s life is the most formative when it comes to character building and from our years of experience walking puppies we often see their confidence quickly grow when they join a regular dog walking pack.
Familiarity and consistency are key to developing good social skills between dogs and dog walking services are a quick and easy way for your puppy to meet other dog and make regular social contact in a safe environment.
Whilst out on walks puppies will encounter many different social situations where they can instinctively look to older dogs for key cues on how to behave and learn by example – all under the watchful eye of our trusted and experienced dog walkers. Our dog walkers are highly trained with years of experience and will support puppies through each and every new and exciting milestone with lots of belly rubs and treats!
At Green Dog Walking we understand the fear that comes with handing over your precious puppy into the care of someone else which is why we take great care in matching puppies to walking groups with dogs we know are patient, gentle and will happily show them the ropes.
Typically, puppies will stay on lead during their first few weeks of walks with us whilst they familiarise themselves with their dedicated dog walker and pack members. During this time they are slowly introduced to their new pack, allowing each other to have a good sniff around and play in a safe and controlled manner.
After these first few walks we usually notice the most timid of puppies come out of their shells and strike up playful friendships with the older dogs. The older, more seasoned dogs will play with the pups and give them clear indicators of what behaviour is acceptable and what is not – teaching them how to interact with other dogs in future encounters.
Whilst these friendships and boundaries are being established our dog walkers will work on off lead training so they are gradually given the freedom to roam at large. Once good behaviour and recall skills are established and we are certain a puppy is able to read and interpret the behaviour of strange and unfamiliar dogs we will allow them to walk off lead.
These important early interactions with other dogs are key to a happy, friendly dog whose owners can be confident in taking them almost anywhere!