Sunday, October 30, 2016

A well-socialized puppy is a happy puppy.

Today the puppies turn 6 months old, so I thought it would be the perfect time to share this post.  Happy birthday puppies!

Breeding dogs is not an easy task.  You choose the stud dog carefully, do all the health screenings, and watch over your expectant mama dog vigilantly.  You pray for an easy birth, and for all the pups to be born healthy.  The day finally comes, and the new puppies arrive, blind, deaf and defenseless.  And now the hard work begins…

Newborn Sophie

Newborn Maizie

There is more to breeding and raising a healthy litter of puppies than just choosing the right stud dog, the best foods and determining when to vaccinate and de-worm the puppies.  Equally important is raising puppies that are well-socialized and fearless in new situations.  To ensure that our puppies will adapt quickly to life with their new families we began using socialization protocols, some we created ourselves, and some we learned from other breeders following “Puppy Culture.” 

The key to early socialization is to present new stimuli to puppies each week in a fun and gentle way.  We didn’t want to scare our puppies, so each new experience was introduced in a positive manner.  Right from the beginning our puppies began learning that new people, noises and new objects were good things.  We started out socializing our puppies with people before their eyes or ears opened, when their entire world was discovered through the sense of touch and smell.  They were held gently, cuddled and even had their tiny paws rubbed.

2 weeks old

Then as they grew, and they could see and hear, we introduced new toys into their whelping box.  We also began introducing new textures through blankets and bedding.  And with the help of our family, they began meeting new people.  Each new experience was presented in as positive a manner as we could make it.

When they were old enough, they were taken outside for the first time, and that is when the real fun began.  Each week we would present them with new toys and new objects to climb on, over and in.  And we had people of different ages, and wearing different clothing, meet our puppies for carefully monitored playtime.  They met seniors, children, men, women, people in uniforms and people wearing hats.  They were introduced to new sounds like when the neighbors mowed their lawns, when a motorcycle would drive up the street, or when the garbage trucks came to collect the garbage.  Everything was new to them, and everything was made into a positive experience.

5 weeks old

6 weeks old

What did following the “Puppy Culture protocols” accomplish for us?  It helped us to raise puppies, that are confident and fearless.  I can’t imagine raising puppies any other way.  Well-socialized puppies learn quickly, readily adapt to new situations and the adjustment to life with their new families goes much more smoothly.   They are almost immune to fear, and recover from stressful situations that other puppies may take a while to overcome.  At even a young age, these puppies are much more focused, and easier to train. It's this greater resiliency and retention of early training lessons that help them to connect to their human families.

The puppies at 7 weeks old

The puppies at 8 weeks old

We will definitely be using Puppy Culture protocols in all of our future litters, as we want to give our puppies the tools to live happy lives.


  1. Yay for Puppy Culture! My next puppy will be from a Puppy Culture litter. Amazing job on your babies. :)

  2. Happy Half Birthday to the pups!!! All very good points made in your post. We feel so blessed to have found a puppy who has an incredible background and was socialized so very well.

    We think Misty will lose some of her mask as she gets older. If you look at puppy pics of Phantom and Ciara, you can see that they both had a bit of a mask, but not as pronounced as Misty's. It is very different from any sibes we have had before. But she has an amazing pedigree from a line of champion Siberians. We won't be doing any showing with her but she is a treasure.

    Woos - Lightning and Misty

  3. I so agree with you!!! it's not finding just matching 2 dogs, there is much more a breeder has to take care for, many thanks for raising pups who bring joy to their new families...

  4. Beautiful puppies! Love them. You asked what state my photos(today's post)were in-Northern Colorado. Such a beautiful area.
    Noreen and Hunter

  5. Love that last picture :) That's a Happy Puppy!!♥

  6. Hi hi hi! Ojo here! Happy 6-month-birthday, puppies! You sure have grown! Socialization is very important, we are glad to hear that you are getting lots of help with that!!

  7. Pee Ess My person wants me to correct that to say that GOOD socialization is very important! She says that it's not all equal, so she is very glad to hear what you've been up to!

  8. OOOOOOh! Puppies!!! Sorry ... my mind goes from practical matters to losing the capacity to comment intelligently when I see PUPPIES!!!! AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

  9. Our breeders have been really good with introducing puppies to as much as possible at very early ages, but Mom continues the process with us as soon as she brings us home. It is so important for the little ones.

  10. Great job with early socialization. I'd be interested in how you go about making sure they all end up in good homes. How do you go about finding & checking out prospective families?

  11. We had no knowledge about puppy culture when we got Sampson, but we did try and expose him to as many things as we possibly could. He's a pretty well rounded, easy going guy.

    I love seeing posts like these. There would probably be no need for shelters if all breeders took such care with their puppies.

    Thank you for being a responsible breeder.

  12. Nice post!(and adorable pups!) I haven't heard of puppy socialization being called Puppy Culture. Something for me to look up!

    I picked your post to be featured in the weekend's Pet Blogger Showcase. Thanks for sharing it!