Thursday, January 8, 2009

Puppy Social Hour

Did you know that by 16 weeks of age your puppy should have met at least 100 dogs and 100 people for proper socialization? This is a difficult goal to achieve simply because the breeder has the puppy until it's 8 weeks old ( or longer ) and your vet recommends not socializing the puppy until it has it's Parvo shot at 12 weeks. That leaves you 4 weeks to socialize your puppy before the Sensitivity Period has come to an end. (The Sensitivity Period is the beginning of a puppy's life that ends between 13 - 16 weeks of age. This is where the dog gets educated about things that are normal and acceptable. Anything the dog has not been exposed to during that period may be something that the dog will be wary, cautious or afraid of later in life). Think of the dog who lunges and barks at the end of it's leash every time another dog passes. This dog, unfortunately, may not have received enough socialization as a young puppy or continued socialization through out it's life.

Must Love Dogs hosts a FREE Puppy Social Hour every Tuesday at 7 pm until 8pm. This is for puppies who are up to 1 year old and under 30 lbs. People bring their puppies to the store at 211 Washington Ave. and we let them off leash for a fun filled hour of playtime with other puppies and handling by people they may be unfamiliar with. This is a priceless opportunity to get your puppy used to interacting around and with other dogs and people.

Some people say "Well I have two other dogs at home" or "My neighbor has a couple of dogs that my dog plays with so I don't think we need Social Hour". This is VERY incorrect. Although those are great play buddies for you puppy, he still needs unfamiliar dogs and people to interact with.

Many people would like to socialize their older dog or large puppy. I would love to be able to accomodate those requests but unfortunately the store is too small for that. Older dogs play differently than puppies do and puppies may unintentionally get injured. As for larger puppies, they need more space to play without injury. Please don't misinterpret this as not "wanting" to cater to larger dogs. I love them all equally and hope to some day be able to offer this for the larger dogs. But do remember that the larger puppies can come until they are 30 lbs.

There is no RSVP or appointment needed. Just show up with your puppy on Tuesday(s)! Your puppy needs to be current on vaccinations. We do allow puppies under 12 weeks of age to attend but just know that it is at your own risk (without being fully vaccinated). If your puppy piddles or "other" at the store, it is your responsibility to clean up after him. We have paper towels and cleaner.

If you have any question about Puppy Social Hour or anything else, pick the phone up right now and call 616-935-9588 or email!

Hope to see you Tuesday!


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