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17 Golden rules to raise a well balanced dog

When getting a new puppy or a rescued adult dog many novce dog owners take it for granted  that every dog is by default  born knowing how to be a dog.  In reality pups depend on their parents and their pack to teach them how to become well balanced and happy dogs. When  becoming  "pet parents" we must fullfil this role.  We are not all biologists, zoologists or behaviourists but we can all acquire a pup or adult dog when ever we like. To protect your dog's wellness and biology as a canine, YOU must know your dog's biology and how this operates within the environment.

Right now, in the wild, adult social canines are changing their "time-keeping," providing support, slowing down time and ensuring that the new members of their family receive all they need to be balanced individuals, both within themselves and their environment and surroundings.  Dr. Isla Fishburn teaches us  how be the same for our own dog.

It is almost that time of year where wolf cubs will be emerging from the den with their mother to meet, clean, cuddle and play with the rest of the family. Spring/summer time is one of the perfect times to plan, organise and decide to bring a puppy or rescue dog in to your home, but getting it right is not easy. That is why I am going to be arranging some talks about the canine biology of your puppy. Did you know that:

1. Every pup, even from the same litter, is different. This is based on several factors including character as well as variation within the uterus between neighbouring pups

2. There is no such thing as a text book dog because every dog is an individual. So, unless we write a book for each dog, expect your dog to be different to every other.

3. Your pup will ALWAYS seek safety, trust, warmth and guidance, provided by you using patience, tolerance, appropriate development and recognition of your dog's individual needs.

4. Your pup was part of a litter, all there to support each other as one unit. Depending on the character of your pup s/he will vary in their confidence when separated from their mother and siblings.

5. You should not get a pup until s/he is 10 weeks old.

6. Your pups critical period of socialising begins as 4 weeks and ends at eight weeks – so by the time you have your pup this “critical” window of socialising has ended.

7. Your pup will have at least three fear stages. During these times it is important that your dog has no new changes or challenges.

8. Your pup will need at least two years of learning, so don’t focus on getting your dog de-sensitised to everything in the first few weeks.

9. Your dog will seek a safe place for rest. A den site works well and allowing your dog to sleep upstairs can work even better.

10. If your pup receives a trauma (ANYTHING that can make your pup feel unsafe, frightened or threatened) this will affect your dog worse when a pup compared to if the same trauma occurred when an adult dog. You will need to understand what trauma is and how this can affect your pup.

11. As a whole, females feel fear for longer than males.

12. A pup learns through its natural instinct of being a canine, through trail and error, through observing what older dogs do and through association.

13. For your dog to learn and receive positive experiences, his/her orienting response needs to be activated.

14, Your pup will naturally progress through several life stages until s/he is an adult. Within each life stage your pup should receive certain experiences at a certain age.

15. Your pups interaction with other dogs may change when your pup becomes and adult.

16. Your pup is a social group animal but s/he will not necessarily want to interact with all dogs s/he meets. This is nature and this is natural biology.

17. When we get a rescue dog, much of the above still applies because that dog has been "re-born."

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