Contrary to popular belief, training your puppy should be reserved for the most experienced trainer. Why? The first 16 weeks of your puppy’s life is the most critical stage of her life. It is during this period that your puppy is imprinted with most of his Life Skills. What are Life Skills for a Puppy? The ability to navigate our crazy, wacky, human world with confidence, skill and trust.

 

I’m here to help you say, “My Puppy H.A.S. Life Skills!”

Habituation: When the puppy gets used to the sounds, smells, home environment, and other everyday experiences. 

Acclimation: When the puppy knows she can navigate different places, people or dogs and be okay – like the vacuum cleaner in the house, car rides, or visitors coming to the house.

Socialization: When your puppy knows how to be in the company of humans and other dogs and be just fine.

Puppy Life Skills also include:

Enrichment activities. These are developed to ward off boredom, redirect energy and to aid in the habituation and acclimation process.

Basic behaviors. We need our puppies to be cooperative family members. Helping them learn to walk comfortably on a leash, sit when asked, come when called, leave objects (like your shoes!) alone, wait to walk out the door… learning these behaviors and more makes life easier for everyone.

And for you?

You’ll learn how to implement these Life Skills so when it’s just you and your puppy, you’re a cohesive unit, a cooperative pair…best friends for life.

 

Merriam-Webster definitions. 

Habituation: a decrease in responsiveness upon repeated exposure to a stimulus. 

Acclimation: physiological adjustment by an organism to environmental change.

Socialization: to make social; especially: to fit or train for a social environment.