Puppies & Children
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The First Weeks
What to do once you’ve found your puppy
If you are lucky enough to have found a breeder with puppies either very recently born, or about to be born, you are in the perfect position to experience the first shaping of your puppy's behaviour.
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
We highly recommend that all pre-puppy owners stay in constant contact with your breeder. In addition to the breeder questions listed in the next section Planning and Equipment, it is also important to ask about the puppies stages of development, and if at all possible, arrange to visit the puppies each week prior to assuming ownership of your puppy.
Note where the puppies sleep as opposed to where they play. Is your puppy more or less apt to play? Is your puppy more independent, bullish or noisier than the rest? There are no good or bad answers, as most any temperament can be shaped into a desirable adult dog. However, having a glimpse at your puppy's developing personality will only help you better prepare for the shaping process.
As importantly, when the puppies are between 4-7 weeks old, try to arrange for your puppy to have brief periods of separation from the mother and litter mates, and, if possible, exposure to children and possibly other animals. Although the early separations will likely be the puppy's first encounter with stress, mild stress followed by a return to familiarly is good for a puppy and prepares them for unavoidable stressful encounters in the future.
Every new experience is indeed shaping your puppy! There is every opportunity to make those experiences positive and your puppy more resilient.
A breeder should not have a problem with your interest and involvement, after all, they have to know and care that their puppy is going to a responsible, loving home - if this is not important to them, you may consider a different breeder.