A Home With Puppy
On this page, you should find some helpful information to use after you get home with your new puppy.
The Socialisation Period – 8 to 12 weeks
Part II: Week 8 to 12
I am a dog in a human world. I need to learn how to be a good dog.
The window for optimal socialization closes at around three months, and up to this age is the time when your puppy will most readily accept and adapt to new experiences.
During the second half of this puppy stage, when the puppy is in his new home, it is essential that he is exposed to many of the people, dogs, objects, sounds and environments he may encounter in later life, including being left alone for short periods, visiting the vet and travelling in the car. Puppies need some help with this process because at around three months old, they start to become nervous and fearful of unfamiliar people and events. As the owner, this is the time when you can have the greatest impact on your puppy’s social development.
At eight weeks, your puppy’s brain is ready to start soaking up information, making this the ideal time to get puppy training under way. Train your puppy to be happy with new encounters. From weeks eight to ten, your pup will go through a normal “fear” period that can be helped with training that is positive and encouraging. Expose the pup to a few brief and friendly visits from as many different puppy-friendly people and animals as possible. This teaches puppies not to fear people and other animals.
House-training your puppy can commence, as it is now able to learn to wait before eliminating and start sleeping through the night without a potty break. Biting can be a big problem during this stage, and you need to be patient and consistent in order to teach your puppy not to hurt people while playing.
Puppy care tips
When you bring your pup home, you’ll be feeding it three times per day.
Grooming: Your puppy will benefit from the hands on aspect of grooming. Entlebuchers really don't require much coat care, but get them used to a bath and brush and especially nail trims.
Exercise and play: Puppies under four months don’t need formal walks, just lots of opportunity to play and run around in your garden or yard. Teething toys, balls and rope toys are big favourites with many puppies.
Vaccinations: Your puppy will have its vaccinations during the first month at home. You can take him out before his vaccinations are complete, as long as you carry him and don’t allow him onto the ground or in areas where other dogs may have been. After his vaccinations, the titre test at 12 weeks will tell you that your pup is ready to play with others, safely.
Puppies are very adventurous and highly accident prone, and often end up hurting themselves whilst they are still growing. Their underdeveloped immune system means they are also vulnerable to getting infections and catching diseases. We have noticed short term lameness in both of our dogs at about 10-12 weeks. It resolved by itself - but don't wait more than a week if something seems off.