At Heartrock Labradoodles, we raise our puppies in a family environment with plenty of interaction with people, children, and other dogs. This socialization prior to going to their new home will help to set them up for success throughout their lives with you. In order to give them the best foundation, we use the ‘Puppy Culture’ method with all our puppies. We encourage new adopters to purchase their video if they are interested in learning more about the important skills that are taught in their first 8 weeks of life with us.
When you bring your new family member home, we encourage you to keep up with this socialization. Introducing them to a variety of people, places, sounds, and other animals will make a huge difference in their temperament and behavior as an adult. This will help ensure you have a well-behaved, happy, and confident dog.
1. Start Early
When it comes to socialization, the first 6 months will be the most important times in your puppy’s life. Working with your puppy and introducing them to new people, places, and other pets will be crucial in the development of your puppy’s social skills. We begin implementing the ‘Puppy Culture’ method as early as three days old and continue their training until the day they go to their forever homes. At this point, we pass the baton to you! As your breeder, we are happy to share our knowledge on the socialization needs of your puppy and help you along the way.
2. Bring on the People
Introduce your puppy to both adults and children in order to acclimate them to people of all shapes, sizes, and appearances. Introduce new experiences using praise and treats, if needed, to create a positive association with new people. Take your puppy for short car errands around town, when possible, to safely introduce them to a variety of new people.
3. Next Steps
Once your puppy is fully vaccinated you can begin taking him on longer walks around your neighborhood. This will be a great way to introduce them to new sounds, smells, people, and pets. At this point, you can take your puppy to dog-friendly restaurants and shops, as well as parks. (Looking for some fun places to take your dog around Austin? Check out this list for some unique spots to enjoy with your pup!) By this stage your puppy should be comfortable being handled by you, your groomer, and veterinarian.
4. Sign up for a puppy class
Puppy classes, using positive reinforcement, can be a great way to introduce your puppy to new people and other pets in a controlled environment. This is also a great way for your puppy to begin learning a few basic commands. Puppies are most open to training before they are 12 weeks old. It can only take minimal training for your puppy to pick up on new commands at this stage. Older puppies can take longer and need much more exposure and work. Having a puppy class lined up when you bring them home will ensure you don’t miss out on this crucial time in their lives.
5. Have FUN
Don’t forget - socialization training with your puppy should be fun for both of you! Spending quality time working and playing with your new family member will not only help them throughout their life, but it will also be a special bonding time for you and your dog.
Do you think you’re ready to meet your new best friend? For more information on our program and our current litters, visit us here or contact Sandy Mann at 512-496-9640.