By Judy Wood
The Four Month Window
There is only a four-month window from the day your puppy is born to familiarize your puppy to everything so he/she will not be fearful! Here are just a few examples: people of different size, age, color, the vet’s office, people passing on a trail, other animals (i.e. deer, elk, horses), noises (i.e. pots/pans clanking, cabinets being shut loudly, vacuum running), objects (i.e. umbrella, hats, broom, mop), doorbells, door knocking, cars pulling in and out, your puppy getting in and out of the car, driving with heat/air conditioning set on high, and anything else you can think of in your lifestyle (i.e. music, boating, coffee shops). For this short time in your puppy’s life, make it your priority. Get out with your puppy twice a day to experience people, different environments, and everyday life outside of your home! If your puppy is already eight weeks old, you only have eight weeks remaining for this invaluable training.
Start today whistling and running away from your pup so he or she will follow while dropping the best of treats along the way. When your pup reaches you, be very generous in your reward and say “Yes”! You can use a leash and in your most enthusiastic voice while walking backwards with a high level treat visible, call your puppy: “Skye, come, Skye, come, Skye, come”. When he reaches you reward with a lot of treats and praise. Do this several times a day. You will be so thankful you did this as I am today with Skye, our year and a half year old.