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How To Get Your Puppy Used To New Environments

Exposing puppies to differing surroundings, sounds and textures ensures they grow up to become self-assured pets. Dog Trainer Basil Theofanides teaches pet owners how to get their puppies used to new environments

“Welcome guys and good morning, this is going to be a fun session. It is not really formal training. This is about conditioning pups to environment. “

“The critical period of a puppy’s development is up to 16 weeks of age. If you don’t give these puppies a chance to explore and get used to the big, wide world what will happen then is you will end up with a very nervous puppy and I see it all the time. So today we are going to take the puppies for a walk and expose them to a variety of situations. “

“First we are going to use steps so Jude you ready to go? Follow me! Now Chance is deaf isn’t he? Because he’s deaf, he needs to be shown exactly what you want him to do and tap down on the ground so he sees it all, a lot of encouragement, good work well done Jude.

Sylvia, lets go, your turn. So crouch down, touch down on the thing. That’s it, well done good work.

Okay here we go Sarah. Come on Singey, let’s go. Nice and slow, slow it down. You take control a bit, boy oh boy look at this guy go, he’s done this before hasn’t he?”

“Alright guys you ready to hit the pebbles? Pebbles are important and I’ll tell you why - they move, they are tactile, it's unfamiliar surface and also they are auditory so they are going to do all these things and they are going to help puppies get used to this unfamiliar situation. So I think I might borrow Timmy for this, is that okay?"

"Come on Timmy, come on mate. Now he's going by himself there which is great and that’s how you need to let puppies explore, they need to go on their own, control them on the leash but don’t force them always encourage. Now you can see he’s sniffing everything that’s perfect, that’s excellent. Okay Sarah your next bring Singey around, it's not play time mate, just nice and slow under control. I don’t want you falling in the creek with him. Now you can see he is keen, he wants to get to the water, this guy’s a water dog. He’s exploring that’s fine. You come back this way because he’s confident enough. Good boy. Okay well done.

Who’s up next? We’ve got Chance! Okay I just want you to let him explore by himself but just control him a little bit. Let him go out, let him have a sniff. If he wants to sniff there that’s fine, we’re not forcing him. This is just all about conditioning. Well now he wants to chew the plants so let’s just try get him off there. Come on mate. That’s it, encourage but don’t force him. Little bit of a treat. He’s having a great old time. Look, his tail is down, look at his body language. This is all part of exploring we need to give the puppies an opportunity to do this. That’s excellent, well-done Jude. That just goes to show how important it is to get puppies familiar with all these different things we just take for granted. I keep saying this but it’s so important.

Well done guys, big day today but your puppies have had a great deal of benefit from it. Just a couple of key points, make sure you expose your puppies to a variety of situations and take advantage of the environment as much as possible.”

Hip Surgery for rescued puppy

2 weeks ago whilst we were in Fiji we rescued an abandoned puppy that we estimate is about 3 months old. She was starving, filthy, covered in ticks and could barely stand or walk. We fed her, washed her, removed all ticks and just gave her love. We called her Pretzel as she was so skinny when we found her that all her bones were sticking out and her hip bones looked like a big twisted pretzel and her long skinny legs looked like Pretzel sticks. Our intention was to find her a home in Fiji but after a week or so she had gained weight, but we noticed that her left hip bone was still protruding and that when she walked we noticed that her left back foot turned out slightly. Also, when she ran she would use both back legs together and hop like a bunny. We took her to an animal shelter in Fiji called Animals Fiji and they examined her and advised that they thought it might be dislocated. They X-rayed her and then sedated her to try and manipulate the bone back into the socket. This was unsuccessful. The vet advised that it appeared that the end of the bone where the ball should be round was malformed either from a trauma/injury when young or by birth. He advised that he does not have the equipment in Fiji to treat her properly and that she would need surgery to correct the bone and to tighten the ligaments to her support her leg. We are exporting her to Australia on the 7th of March and are trying to raise some funds to assist us. We are hoping that you can assistance to find a Vet in Melbourne that could assist with the operation at a reasonable price.