Monday, March 16, 2009

Puppies are learning about self-control

Puppies are eight weeks old now, and they are learning a great deal every day. Today they spent some time socializing with other dogs - Tommy and Asko. Pups need to learn how to behave around other dogs, how to read them and how to respect them. Puppies placed in new homes early, when they are 6-8 weeks old, do not have much chance to do it. Since we keep pups until they are 10-12 weeks old, they have an opportunity to learn puppy behavior etiquette from other dogs. And we have a chance to observe them and learn more about their temperaments.
I am a big fan of Susan Clothier, and I recommend her free articles at . You need to register at the website but the extra effort is worth it. Read the article It Takes a Pack to Raise a Puppy.
As Susan writes: "The puppy needs to learn to inhibit his impulses - in other words, to develop some self control." And dogs are the best teachers for puppies to learn from.

When you look closely at the pictures, you will see that Olana behaves very differently from Olive when they are around other dogs. To the left you see Olana trying to put her head over Tommy's neck as she is testing him.

Tommy quickly puts her in her place and Olana submits immediately. But she will try again.

Olive is much more submissive. It is enough that Tommy runs by, and she rolls on her back completely submitted. Actually he does not pay any attention to her.

To the right - Tommy with Oak (on his back) and Olana trying to interact with Tommy again.

And here we have Olive again on her back. Tommy is only a year old and he is pretty pushy himself with older dogs, but he is just right with the puppies. He does not overdo it and does not hurt them, but they get a message that he is older and stronger, and he commands their respect.

Asko and Tommy playing with the pups.

Olive is submitting to Emma, while Tommy is dominating Olana who keeps on coming back.
It is quite fascinating to observe dogs' behavior in a pack. In the past I was guilty of overprotecting pups, but with experience I learned that some dogs can be really trusted with young pups and by disciplining pups they teach them good self control.

No comments: