Puppies begin to become active in the litter, with their mum and siblings. Born blind and deaf, puppies are able from birth to taste, to smell with their nose and to feel by touching. To stimulate these 3 senses, the breeder (whether a professional breeder or a private individual) can offer the pups some stuffed toys in different materials.
Sight and hearing are acquired between the 11th and the 13th day. Two days after the acquisition of sight and hearing, the breeder can place an object near the puppies. They begin to discover the world step by step (only one novelty at a time: a human, a pipe, a cardboard box, a bag, a toy, a cushion, a sound, …). Doing too much could stress the litter too many noises, people, objects, manipulations, …
Between 2 and 2 ½ weeks, puppies start crawling and look out of their burrow for a few moments before mum gets them back inside.
From 3 to 4 weeks, we can let them explore slowly but surely. They discover a new world filled with stimuli. Just let the puppies make choices, without forcing or constraining them. They will gradually become independent and learn to be curious.
Learning is more effective if our dogs (just like humans) learn things by themselves. Of course we need to watch over the litter, to ensure the safety of each member, but it is important to let the puppies discover and test their environment on their own.
The ideal age to leave the litter is between 9 and 12 weeks. It is up to the new family to take over. In order for their new family member to feel safe, he will need:
- water, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (no restriction),
- food (at least 3 meals, but if possible, 4 or 5 meals a day),
- to go outside regularly,
- to sleep (± 20 h / 24),
- to not be left alone
The house needs to be ready for his arrival: the different places to eat, drink, relieve himself, sleep. When the puppy arrives at our home, we need to give him time to acclimatize: everything he knew until then has disappeared and he finds himself in a new world. Let’s give him two or three days to feel at home and get to know his new playmates (humans, dogs or others).
After acclimatization to his new environment, we can offer him some activities, always respecting his evolution and his experience of the world. A dog born in the country is not used to the sounds and smells of the city. A dog born in town does not know the sounds of farm animals and probably never saw or heard a tractor.
The chronology mentioned above applies to a puppy but our new companion could be an adult. When adopting a teenager or an adult dog, it is also important to prepare the house for his arrival and allow him to acclimatise before starting any activity. According to the natural predispositions of our dog (“I’m afraid of nothing – I go for it “, “I am not comfortable with my new life”, “I like my new friends”, “I’m terrified by this new environment “, …), we will make sure to make his new life as stresss free as possible , and adapt the activities to his knowledge of the world as well as his physical and mental abilities.
 Pour un sommeil de qualité, le chiot doit se sentir en sécurité. Cela signifie qu’il ne doit pas rester seul : si un humain ou un autre chien est présent, le chiot sait que ce compagnon montera la garde et qu’il ne risque rien.
 Le chien est un animal social, qui a naturellement besoin de contacts et de compagnie. Si notre mode de vie nous oblige à laisser notre chien à la maison, il est essentiel de lui apprendre à rester seul ou de lui trouver un compagnon ou un dog-sitter.
LET’S KEEP IN MIND that:
- Exploration of the world begins with Mum and the siblings;
- Allowing and encouraging our dogs to make choices, without forcing or constraining them;
- Our new family member feels safe and that his basic needs are met(food and water, safe sleeping, toileting, socializing);
- Let us respect the development and experience of our dog (dogs living in the city or in the country will have different experiences