Children and Puppies
When you bring your new puppy home, don't let your children play with him constantly. Puppies need a lot of rest just like a growing child. Limit puppy-children play sessions to 15-30 minute periods 2-3 times a day.
1 Young children may be tempted to shout at a puppy if they think he's doing something wrong. Be sure they understand that puppies and dogs can be easily upset and startled by loud noises.
2 No teasing. Keeping a toy just out of reach will reinforce bad habits such as jumping up and excessive barking.
3 Wagging tails and play biting can be too rough for some young children. Supervise interaction and separate them if the play is too rough.
4 Teach kids to care for a dog by showing them how to feed and groom him
Your puppy has been exposed to a lot of loud noises and stimulation but remember he has always had the support of the litter. Puppies will respond differently in their new home than they did here in the litter. Within the litter they have strength in numbers, and litters operate as a unit pulling their strength from the whole.
It's very important that rules regarding teasing be followed, puppies are easily excited and will also become dominate if allowed to be over stimulated.
Children need to not allow puppies to chew on them, it is very important that parents teach their children how to respond to puppy mouthing. Two good ways to do this is for the parents to first work with the puppy by saying OUCH or some other short sharp word to startle the puppy into letting go. Then teaching children to do the same after the parent is sure the puppy is understanding. Second if the puppy gets so worked up that mouthing is out of control the children need to know it's time to put the puppy in his crate and ask for help with that if needed. This is not a punishment, it a time out, time to cool off. Puppy make make a fuss but generally after a short fuss they will settle down for a nap.
The more your children interact with the puppy taking care of routine needs the more the puppy will learn to respect them. Dogs look to care givers as ones who deserve respect.
What is socialization training?
Socialization training is training that allows a dog to be comfortable in day to day situations as well as non day to day situations.
The more time a dog spends as a member of the family the more easily he will learn social skills simply because he will have the opportunity to practice in day to day life, make mistakes, be corrected, and receive praise for behaving well. This includes when ever possible the dog be along on family outings.
Good training will improve the relationship with your dog. Dogs need to be able to trust I find the best way to ensure trust is by nurturing. Accountable for their actions and praised for their good deeds, yes but also time to just be a family member.
Every dog should have at least some basic obedience instruction and that instruction should be with the family not away at a dog training facility. The more time you spend building a relationship of mutual trust and respect the happier everyone will be.
Effective training requires good timing. This is the most difficult thing for most dog owners to learn. A critical difference between the way people learn and the way dogs learn involves the use of language. A parent can explain to a six year old child that an action (praise or punishment) is related to an event in the past. Dogs, for the most part, lack language skills. Good timing becomes critical to connect the action (your praise or correction) to the event as dogs live in the present.
Getting Along With Other Dogs
Dogs have a language of their own - body posture is their number one communication tool. Dogs communicate fear, anger, aggression, submission, playfulness through posture. A puppy who grows up with other dogs will learn canine language and be able to communicate effectively. A puppy raised in isolation may misinterpret cues from other dogs, or inadvertently send signals that may confuse other dogs.
Puppies must learn appropriate social behavior. When puppies play, overly enthusiastic nip's results in yelps from playmates. Persistent jumping on their dam may result in a growl or snap of correction. In these ways, puppies learn the limits of play behavior.
During socialization, puppies should be allowed free play time. Puppies should be supervised to make sure puppy play doesn't become overly aggressive, especially if there's a big size difference among the dogs. But puppies just like children learn communication skills by interaction with their piers.
Puppy socialization with other dogs begins in the litter, and appropriate puppy socialization should continue throughout puppy and juvenile growth stages. A well socialized puppy will mature into a dog who can be trusted to meet and play with other dogs. Puppy Kindergarten and puppy play groups are both good options for helping your puppy to get along with other dogs.
People and Dogs
Dogs live in a human world, it's important for dogs to understand people - all sizes shapes and colors. Early, positive exposure to lots of strangers, with praise or rewards for good behavior, will help your puppy become a well adjusted dog.
Invite friends to your home to meet and play with your puppy. Ask adults to crouch down and avoid sudden movements when meeting your puppy. If you don't have children of your own, invite friends over who do have children and have a supervised play session. Be sure children know not to pick the puppy up, or to move too quickly. Puppies will chase children that run, so be sure to instruct young children to not run. Also talk to children about mouthing - see "Children and Puppies".
Once your puppy's shots are completed, begin taking him to public places such as parks, where he can meet lots of friendly people. Also, make a point of introducing your dog to people of different ages and races, people in uniforms, and so on - dogs can be wary of people who seem "unusual" in any way.
It is paramount to remember you are teaching your puppy to be comfortable with people, and to behave around them. Behavior that is cute in a puppy, such as jumping and barking, is no longer cute when the dog is an eighty pound adult with a mature voice!
Vaccines are now being divided into two classes. 'Core' and 'Non-core' vaccines. Core vaccines should be given to every dog. Non-core vaccines are recommended only for certain dogs. Whether to vaccinate with Non-core vaccines depends upon a number of factors including age, breed, and health status of the dog, the potential exposure of the dog to the disease, the type of vaccine and how common the disease is in the geographical area where the dog lives or may visit.
Experts generally agree that the core vaccines for dogs are: Distemper, Adenovirus-2 (hepatitis and respiratory disease), and Parvovirus-2.
Non-core vaccines include: Parainfluenza and Bordetella, both are causes of 'kennel cough'. Borrelia burgdorferi (cause of Lyme Disease), Giardia, and for some areas, Coronavirus and/or Leptospirosis.
Vaccines do not stimulate immunity immediately. Once a vaccine is administered, the antigens must be recognized, responded to, and remembered by the immune system. In most dogs protection does not begin until five days after vaccination. Full protection from a vaccine usually takes up to fourteen days. In most instances, two or more vaccinations several weeks apart must be given to achieve protection.
Newborn puppies are not naturally immune to diseases. However, they do have some antibody protection that is derived from its mother's blood via the placenta. The next level of immunity is from antibodies derived from the first milk. This is the milk produced from the time of birth and continuing for 36-48 hours. This antibody-rich milk is called colostrum.
Just when maternal antibodies wear off for each puppy is unknown, it could be at 8 weeks, 16, or even longer, it varies with each individual. This is why puppies have a series of vaccines, we are making sure we protect each puppy, regardless of when the maternal antibodies may wear off.
To best protect each puppy and protect it's immune system without over doing, or vaccinating improperly which can cause problems later, the following schedule is recommended by cutting edge experts: (Many general practitioners may disagree with this protocol.)
8 weeks Parvovirus vaccine only
10 weeks Distemper, Adenovirus, ParaInfluenza, and Parvovirus
14 weeks - Distemper, Adenovirus, ParaInfluenza, and Parvovirus
Corona vaccine (Non-core vaccine), is optional, but should not be given before 9 weeks of age. Puppy immune systems cannot utilize the vaccine before 9 weeks. (I do not recommend vaccinating for Corona at all).
Leptospirosis vaccine (Non-core vaccine), is also optional, depending on your geographical area. In the Pacific Northwest, Leptospirosis is not a common disease and therefore vaccination is probably unnecessary. However, if you give the Lepto vaccine, it should not be given before 9 weeks of age, again the immune system cannot utilize the vaccine before 9 weeks and if you are going to have a vaccine reaction chances are it would be to this vaccine.
Some studies have shown that giving the Distemper vaccine (a core vaccine) before 9 weeks of age results in an increased incidence of vaccine-induced disease. This vaccine is also thought to be a culprit in damaged immune systems if given too early.
Bordetella, another (Non-core vaccine), needs only be given if your dog is at high risk. High risk includes frequent boarding, grooming, or visits to dog parks. Puppy kindergarten classes and boarding kennels may require this vaccine.
Rabies is a core vaccine and is mandated by law due to public health risks. However Rabies vaccine should not be given before 12 weeks of age. Waiting until after 18 weeks of age is preferable, but you must abide by your county and/or state laws. If possible, give the Rabies vaccine separately from the other vaccines. (I recommend 6 months of age for Rabies vaccination where the law permits).
For more information and or further modified puppy vaccination protocols please visit this link:
Re-vaccination of Adolescents and Adult Dogs:
Through new studies we are gaining a lot of knowledge about the length of immunity produced by vaccinations. Vaccines are being improved, providing longer duration of immunity, and better methods to test immunity are being developed, (titer testing). Continual changes will be seen in the recommendations for vaccine schedule. It's possible that most vaccines will soon not be recommended annually at all. And very possible vaccine rotation will be more common e.g., vaccinate against disease A one year, against disease B the next year, disease C the third year, and then repeat the rotation. As is, several veterinary teaching hospitals have modified recommendations from vaccination yearly to every three (3) years and currently this is my recommendation and these core vaccines are the only vaccinations I feel any dog should receive: Distemper, Adenovirus, ParaInfluenza, and Parvovirus Rabies at least 3 weeks from the above or as required by law.
For more on re-vaccination and titer testing please visit these links:
Re-vaccination (lots of citations, research and links)