DOB: January 20, 2018
We blinked and all of the sudden...our little girl is ready for class!
Harper is a sweet, sweet soul, though it's no surprise because her mother is one too. :) We're lengthening the sit-stay and down-stay now and will be working towards her AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy distinction just like pups in the Gold Select program.
Puppy Class officially starts in a few weeks, so we'll be taking her (and Evie, an Oakley/Silas daughter) on the road for some great training experiences with our favorite folks at the Good Dog Center.
TRAINING TIP: Tackle time or distance at first for your stays. Not both at the same time!
Thank goodness for warmer weather. We've been out on the almost-green grass this week training with "distractions". What a tough lesson. It's hard to focus when there are so many fun kids laughing in the sandbox nearby or cats sunbathing on the porch. :)
Harper and her siblings are hitting the end of the critical learning period soon, so we're wrapping up the baby stage and heading into the teens. One of the books I've been reading through lately is "Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog. A Classic Study". It's a real mouthful, but it's full of great information.
Part of what Drs Fuller and Scott discovered is that the Juvenile Period (teenage period) is marked, not by new patterns of learning like the Socialization Period, but instead by building on what was learned during that time. (p. 108) Their learning is fully developed at this point...but like anyone at this age, they also have "poor motor skills", "short attention spans" and "emotional excitability". (p. 109)
Yep. They got that part right! We call this the gangly stage for our pups because they're all legs and feet.
Scott and Fuller also write,
So really - a puppy's brain is playing Tetras and fitting all the pieces together. :)
The scary part is that around 12 weeks of age, the imprinting window starts closing - rapidly - so your puppy is going to respond in the future to their environment by how and where those building blocks are being placed now.
No pressure, right? (Rubbing forehead and sighing)
Snitker Goldens - Where Imprinting Matters