Socialization - The Pups Go To Town!
Updated: Feb 3
There is a quaint feed store, hardware store, and grocery store a few miles from the ranch that welcomes my pups, so I always take the opportunity to train there. This is often the pups' first experience of hearing traffic noise, and anyone can pass by. I back the car towards the door of the hardware store, and we sit with the pups as they consider what is outside. If the pups are spooked sometimes, we just let them look out the windows and then head home. Usually, the pups want to get out and look around, and we shamelessly take advantage of the people passing by as puppy trainers.
When the weather isn't too hot, we wander the parking lot and around the sides of the stores, but on this day, the asphalt was not nice for puppy feet, so we stayed in the shadows. All three pups were gregarious, so we offered them the opportunity to go inside the hardware store. Now, this can be imposing! The double glass doors are odd, and they make noise. Once inside the doors and off the mat, the pups are on a slick floor in a building with high ceilings, lots of novel things to look at, and many strange smells.
The pups were bold; they carried themselves high and loose. The kittens were a big hit, as were the bunnies and hamsters. The pups wandered the isles, leading their handlers. None of the pups needed safety in numbers. I really did a poor job of video recording the adventure! I was entranced by watching my beautiful pups.
It takes a ton of work to get to this point! Luck is also required, and it takes a village to raise our pups. I give them my heart endlessly and all the training skills I have learned thus far, but I very much count on my young trainers as well. Krysta, in the purple shirt, learned clicker training with me about six litters back. Mckenna and Emma have been training with me for about a year. All three girls are such a gift to me. As you watch the video, study the timing of the girls, as well as how they use their body positions to support the pups. What fun this was for me to watch!
We stayed and played with the pups until they started to get a little busy and silly, as children do, so it was time to head home. We got them tucked back in with the rest of the litter and called our day a success. Over the next few weeks, all the pups will go on these adventures. These three pups are headed to their new homes in less than a month, so we started with them.