Early Puppy Education
We have developed a program specifically for our Shibas to assure them every opportunity to develop into great pets.
Our program starts when the puppies are two days old. We perform early neurological stimulation with them twice a day.
At 2 weeks old, their eyes open and they begin to smell. So we start including visual stimulation as well as offering different things for them to smell while we continue our neurological stimulation.
At 3 weeks old, they finally start walking. We begin working on recall. We call them and offer them a ton of praise for coming to us. It takes only a couple of days for them to just run over to us as soon as they see us. We also start stimulating their prey instinct at this time. We use the prey instinct to drive the puppy towards the things they fear instead of away from them. This builds confidence. It replaces the fear and aggression (which could otherwise develop when your dog is in an uncomfortable situation) with confidence and curiosity. It teaches the puppy to think then respond as opposed to relying on primal reactions.
At 4 weeks old, the puppies are moved into the family room, so they are around daily routine, movement, noise, etc. This is also the first time they have their nails dremeled. (After this, everyday we place the dremel motor on their feet so they are desensitized to the noise and vibration.) They stay in a weaning pen, but we let them out several times a day to run and play. It allows them to investigate things and gain confidence.
At 5 weeks old, we stop the early neurological stimulation, visual and smell training and begin a daily routine of driving in the car, standing on a grooming table (practice for the vet table), getting daily massages to desensitize them of any touching needed for your grooming or at the vet. They are also introduced to the travel crate.
At 6 weeks old, we begin crate training. Puppies spend time alone in a crate a few times each day to nap. As they adjust to crates, they will spend more and more time in their crates, until it is their primary place to sleep. We also begin potty training and leash training.
At 7 weeks, we have puppy parties and invite the neighborhood kids over to play with them a couple of times a week. We also invite the puppies’ new families to visit and start building positive relationships with their new babies.
At 8 weeks of age, we work on their prey instinct to overcome their fear. This week is when they have a fear stage, so we train them through it. This week, they will have two vet visits. One to the canine ophthalmologist for an eye exam and one to the a general vet for vaccines, a health exam and health certificate.
Puppies are ready to go to their new homes any time after they turn 9 weeks old. Your puppy will be potty trained, leash trained, come when his name is called, sit on request as well as high five. He will have a strong foundation from which you will be able to build a fun future.