Puppies have a Development Timeline !!!!!!

                                                                                   Please Read or listen too the audio book 

                                                                                      "Before and After Getting Your Puppy"

                                                                                                      by Dr Ian Dunbar 

Then call a professional to show you how to do all the things the Dr Dunbar talks about in this wonderful book.

Puppies must have developed a sound base and appropriately socialised with people before 12 weeks of age - this continues for up to 2 years

Puppies must be appropriately socialised and appropriately socialised with other dogs by 14 weeks of age - this continues for up to 2 years

Puppies need to achieve bite inhibition by 18 weeks of age

Socialised with the world by 20 weeks - continues for up to 2 years.

The most important thing when you bring a puppy into your life, is knowing that the first 6 months of your puppies life will shape the majority of your adult dog's behaviours. Early training and socialisation is everything. 

What does this mean? 

From the moment that you bring a puppy into your home you must begin the process of encouraging independence and building confidence. 

Socialisation and the importance of Positive Experience.

Everything in the first 16 weeks of a pup’s life should be about making the world at large and every single experience a positive one. You must be attentive and learn to read your puppy’s body language.

If a puppy ever shows even the slightest indication of hesitation or caution, STOP.

Do not continue and do not push your puppy. If you want your puppy to grow into a confident adult dog that can orientate life in a human world with confidence and without fear or mistrust, then you must ensure that your puppy is NEVER in a position where they feel overwhelmed or frightened.

For example, please don’t bath your puppy by picking them up and placing them in a huge aluminium laundry sink, holding them there whilst covering them in soap then rinsing them off under the tap, then dying them with a hair dryer. If you do this, you can guarantee you will have an adult dog that for the next 15 to 20 years will fear having a bath and you will also damage your pup’s trust in you.

You must introduce your puppy to every single new experience in a way that they feel safe, secure and enjoy the experience. There are so many different ways to do this.

For example, to introduce your puppy to the experience of having a bath, one option is to get into the bathtub with a low level of warm water, to a level that will just cover your legs. You get into the bath and then have someone pass your puppy to you.

Don’t have them in there with you whilst the water is running, work up to that stage. Hold your puppy in your arms and allow them to process the situation and the environment, after a minute or two, place your puppy onto your legs so their tiny paws are now emerged in the warm water. Allow them to process that stage. Then gently move your hand through the water and allow them to process the movement and sound of the water.

As they become comfortable with each stage you can move to the next. The process DOES NOT have to be completed the first time. If your pup is comfortable sitting on your legs in the bath with the water covering their paws that’s fantastic. The next night you can go a little further and increase the depth of the water.

Please remember the water level should never be higher than your puppy’s chest height, they should be able to walk comfortably when ready to do so.

Do not spray your puppy with the garden hose!

Take the fitting off the hose and place it on the ground and turn the water onto a very low level. Sit on the ground next to the hose and allow your puppy to come to you. When their little paws first touch the water gently say "good boy/girl” and place your hand in the water near their paw and show them that it’s ok. Once they are comfortable with that stage, you can slowly move the hose around a little, once comfortable with that stage you can slowly increase the water pressure and so on and so on. Do not attempt to spray them with the water. Their confidence will grow quickly in every situation if you simply break the experience into little stages that your puppy can feel safe within.

Don’t just get the vacuum out and start vacuuming!

Be aware that a vacuum to a lot of puppies, is like a monster machine. Allow your puppy to process the vacuum before you even move it or turn it on. Remember dogs process the majority of information through their noses, not their eyes and ears as we do. So, leave the vacuum turned off on the floor for a few days and allow your puppy to approach it and sniff it. 

You can put some treats around the vacuum to encourage your pup to explore, but do not stand behind them when they do this, allow them their own space to explore. Then you can slowly start moving the vacuum around whilst it is off. Very important, DO NOT MOVE the vacuum or any object that a puppy is not yet comfortable with toward them!!!! Always move the object away from them. This will remove the threat element and allow your puppy to follow along behind you as you move the off vacuum around the house and always away from them. 

Then you can plug the vacuum in, in another room and make sure that your puppy is not in the room with the vacuum, then turn the vacuum on and return to your puppy and have some play time. You will notice as your puppy becomes more comfortable with the sound, he/she will notice it less and less, until it is like your puppy no longer even notices it is on. From that point you can then lessen the distance and step by step get closer to the vacuum whilst it’s on, and so on and so on.

Remember you need to allow your puppy to process the different elements of each new experience. The sounds, the smells, the movements and the noises. In some situations, all of these elements at once will simply be over whelming and only frighten your puppy.

Do not move things quickly, puppies’ vision is still not established, and they can’t track movement well, shy pups will be frightened by fast movements. Always start slow when moving objects and allow your pup to process each stage.

Children and Puppies

Please DO NOT ALLOW children to pick puppies up or over handle a puppy. Puppies are not objects that can be treated like a toy. Parents must educate their children to respect the puppy’s space and teach them respectful ways to be tactile with a pup. My advice is to have children sit on the floor and allow the pup to approach and have cuddle time in that position. Teach children to not bother a sleeping puppy, allow them to rest and sleep in peace.

Resource Guarding

Do not touch your puppy whilst they are eating

(that is incredibly annoying)

Do not take your puppies food away whilst they are eating

(are you trying to give your puppy a reason to feel they have to guard their food because at any moment someone may take it away from them?)

Allow your puppy to eat in peace and not be bothered by anyone. If you would like your puppy to establish a positive association to people approaching them whilst they eat, then an adult, NOT A CHILD, can approach the pup with a yummy treat, the treat should be better than what is in their bowl> Approach your pup and gain their attention verbally, not by touch, then when you have their attention give them the really yummy treat then simply walk away, do not pat your puppy after you give the treat, just give them the treat then walk away. You want your puppy to think whenever anyone walks into the space where they are eating, “I wonder what yummy thing this person has for me”. Not “Is this person going to take my food, or touch me and annoy me whilst I’m eating”

Do not snatch objects from your puppy or chase them to get something from them. This will only encourage them to either, protect something that they have and value, or not trust you to get near them when they have something they value.

Most Dog Parks Are Chaotic And Can Be Quite Dangerous

The safer option is to establish compatible play groups.

I can not stress the importance of approriate socialisation for every single baby angel. Puppies need to be reintroduced to their kin prior to 15 weeks of age but the earlier the better. In Australia we have pre-vaccinated puppy preschool class for this very reason. This allows us to get puppies back amongst other pups as early as 8 weeks of age. Socialisation is a constant process for the first 2 to 3 years of life. It is every dog's right to be socialised and to learn their language. We take them from thier kin and it is OUR RESPONSIBILITY to provide them with the opportunity to learn how to be amongst their own species. 


            WE CAN NOT TEACH THEM THIS!!!!

If you do not consistently and approriately socialise your puppy they will become fearful, apprehensive, defensive, nervous, confused and unable to feel safe and comfortable around other dogs and incapable of interacting at all. This must start from the moment they are vaccinated or in a pre vaccinated puppy class. Every week that you fail to begin their reintroduction to dogs, you are increasing the probability that they will develop unhealthy social behaviours. Equally as important is that the socialisation MUST BE APPROPRIATE AND SOCIALISATION AMONGST PUPPIES AND DOGS SHOULD ALWAYS BE MANAGED.


Not all dogs are appropriate play friends, particularly whilst they are still growing and learning. For example, putting a 6 month old Cavoodle in to play with a group of 6 month old Labs, Boxers and Staffy pups, is like putting a 7 year boy into a game of AFL with 18 year olds. He is going to get hurt and not like the game. The bigger, heavier, bouncey pups do not mean any harm but they will overwhelm lighter smaller pups simply with their energy and size. So parents of the larger heavier pups need to take them to play with the dogs and pups that can handle thier energy and weight and are capable of teaching them appropriately. 

If you have a light weight smaller puppy choose the larger calm older doggies to build little ones confidence around bigger dogs, not high energy large dogs that will overwhelm and sometimes frighten them. If you have a large breed energetic pup and you go to a safe managed doggie park, they’re at the top of the play pyramid, there’s only a few doggies that can tolerate their energy and play, so take them to play with those doggies and as their energy is drained their pyramid opens up and their play options increase. When they’re completely exhausted they’re a lot more capable of playing appropriately with smaller less energetic doggies.

Most Dog Parks Are Chaotic And Can Be Quite Dangerous

The safer option is to establish compatible play groups.

Compatible Dog Play Groups

Imagine if we didn't get a choice about who we spent our time with or who our friends would be, and we were all just expected to get along despite our different personalities and interests. There would be a lot of unhappy people and most likely a great deal of arguing. It really isn't much different for angels. 

Compatability will promote healthy appropriate behaviours and incompatibility will create the opposite. 

I have started a facebook page called Compatible Dog Play Group Perth so that parents can find compatible appropriate play friends for their angels. 

You can register your individual dog’s breed, age, size, weight, character, play style and preferred play mates. Then organise compatible play groups where all dogs can socialise and learn their language in a safe environment amongst appropriate play friends. 

At the moment the only open environment socialisation options for dogs, is at dog parks where they’re at the mercy of uneducated parents, who have little to no idea about what is appropriate and what is not. 

As a parent what would you do?

Little ten year old Johnny comes home from school and tells his parents he doesn't want to play football any more because he's smaller than the other kids and it hurts and frightens him when they tackle him and play rough. 

Here’s just a few of the INAPPROPRIATE examples I see on a daily basis.

1) Parents who are completely oblivious that their excitable adolescent dog is overwhelming a gentler more timid dog, or pushing the tolerance of a wiser older dog, or frightening the life out of a young puppy.

2) Parents failing to interrupt play when their dog is either ignoring or doesn’t understand appropriate calming signals that another dog is giving and just allows the interaction to continue.

3) Parents not recognising that their dog is using bullying behaviour.

4) Parents not recognising that their dogs are participating in mobbing.

5) Parents not recognising “bullying behaviour” when a new dog enters an environment with regulars. 

6) Parents not recognising when arousal levels need to be reduced, or how to do this. 

7) Parents not recognising inappropriate “ball or toy” behaviour.

To put it into a context for those of you that have never even considered any of this. 

Imagine sending your children to school and the adults that were responsible for their psychological and physical well-being let your children be bullied, beaten up, have their belongings taken from them by force, allowed new students to be ganged up on by groups, or put 12 year old children in with 17 year olds to play contact sports. 

Parents would simply not stand for that. 

So why are you all so ok with this happening to your equally vulnerable canine family members??????