Dogs are social creatures – they just love company!
In the wild, dogs live in packs, and have a very rich family life.
This is probably why pet dogs fit so well into our families. But they do need help as puppies to develop good social skills, just as children do. Before they are 8 weeks old they are usually tumbling and playing with their own litter mates, learning puppy manners. Older pack members allow them to experiment with ear and tail pulling or nibbling, but quickly and gently put the youngster in his place if he becomes too boisterous.
When we bring our new puppy into our home at two months old we need to take the place of these older pack members. Play is important, but so are discipline and obedience to the pack leader. Young puppies in the wild would be vulnerable to predators and need to quickly learn to hide and be silent if a larger predator or competing pack approaches.
We have harnessed these natural skills to welcome dogs into our families, but an important part of learning new skills for a pup is practice. We encourage all our new puppy owners to socialise their new friends at once. This starts with weekly puppy parties at the Clinic, where we can guarantee they will not be exposed to germs before their vaccination program is completed.
Then, once fully vaccinated, they are encouraged to progress to a puppy training class. Here they will be taught basic obedience skills, despite all the distractions of other dogs. This is great preparation for obedience in the park on walkies!
Most exciting of all is a fun dog show. Once again we are welcoming all puppies and dogs to come and get social at the Cuckoo Fayre Dog Show this year. It’s a great occasion for pups to experience group interactions in a safe and friendly atmosphere. And of course, they may bring home a rosette as well! All vaccinated dogs over 12 weeks of age are most welcome.
It’s on Bank Holiday Monday 1st May at the Cuckfield Recreation Ground, and we will be taking entries at £2 per class from 12 noon, and start judging soon after the Mayor’s Parade at 1pm.
Have a look at our website http://www.themewesvets.co.uk/events/cuckoo-fayre-dog-show/ for more details and the list of classes.