Nothing is quite as adorable as a puppy, right? Maybe a kitten? That's an age old debate of dogs vs cats, we don't want to get into that here. We do however want to discuss:
Puppy breath, squishy rolly-polly tummies, sleeping babies, funny little personalities and their sweet nature are hard to resist. But you know they go from the cute babies to what many consider baby sharks with razor sharp teeth, no bladder control; pottying everywhere, jumping, chewing, barking, crying, whining, lack of impulse regulation and a constant on button. Fun right? I get the draw of these magnetic creatures but the reality is having a puppy is a very time consuming, difficult, often inconvenient on a person's typical routine, added responsibility, financial investment and if we are lucky, a 15 year commitment. Puppies are, in a nutshell, A LOT!
Our goal is to help educate people on all aspects of a puppy from their relationship with their mom, littermates, all the way up to 18 months. We are committed to helping reduce the return rate of puppies being returned once they hit adolescence and adulthood. While we recognize that therE are many contributing factors to a dog's behavior, it is only beneficial to gain a broader and specific understanding of puppy behavior, long term implications of our role in our puppy's life and how to grow a calm, confident, mentally sound adult dog. With that in mind, let's discuss puppy beginnings.
To truly appreciate the magic of a puppy and how delicate and resilient they are, we first have to understand the magnificent science and development of canine gestation and newborn puppies. The approximated time a female dogs pregnancy lasts is 63-65 days, there are always variables but a general rule of thumb is that pregnancy lasts between eight to nine weeks. The little life begins as a fertilized egg, that nestles inside its mothers womb as only four cells but quickly multiplies into 64 cells, forming a head and spine and eventually a full grown puppy.
So what does a developing puppy in utero have to do with growing a healthy minded puppy and eventually a well balanced dog? More than you think! Studies show that prenatal stress incresases the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Prenatal stress can disrupt the maternal immunity that moms pass on to puppies in the womb as well as inibit healthy levels of endocrine and nervous system development. We really have to embrace all the research that breaks down numerous reasons a stressed mom can literally create more fearful, anxious and nervous puppies. Those negatively felt emotions can stay with a puppy through development and into their adult years, this is turn can make typical fear impact periods and normal development that much harded for puppies that experienced high levels of stress while growing in their mom's womb.
Let us summarize the scientific research below:
Now that we have summarized the importance of a stress-free momma dog and pregnancy, for both mom and puppies, let us look a little closer at what happens developmentally after birth.
It goes without saying every puppy is an individual. Even though their developmental periods and similar growing pains like learning histories, bite inhibition and potty training can be a more shared experience, above all each animal just like each person, has their own genetic, physical and mental composition. With that being said I would like to outline below a more general training plan for puppies, as many people think they want a puppy, even two, and quickly realize they simply bit off more then they can chew!
Surprise! The training plan doesn't just stop with the puppy goals above. Your learning level and behavioral plan would generally be;
I truly hope this helps puppy parents, rescues, fosters and anyone who is responsible for raising a puppy. We want to help grow your behavioral IQ while giving you a deep understanding of how puppies develop from gestation all the way to adulthood. The more we understand, the more empathetic and knowledgeable we can be in our work with our puppies. You are the major difference between a happy, well socialized, mentally, physically and behaviorally balanced dog versus one that is blamed for struggling in our human world with our human rules. Now, let's go save more puppies and grow alongside them through our holistic behavioral work!