Three weeks left of “best easy socialization period” to go! Kitto goes with us to the pet store, to Forest Park, the Farmer’s Market, Cool Creek Park. We walk often, at different times of day. We’re meeting all kinds of people in safe, positive contexts, for a couple of hours a day.
Something new is happening. Kitto was happy from the day we brought him home, but as he becomes an adolescent, we realize that he’s become used to the family routines. He finds ways to fit in, and asks to come along. He can deal with boring bits… Daddy’s work time is great for napping. He doesn’t mind when we leave the room or go out on errands, as long as family members are home. We can leave him with grandparents and he is well-behaved and quiet.
Weekends are the best because family is always home, and now it’s Summer. He goes from person to person, plays by himself sometimes (usually going full husky on a toy with tiny sharp teeth that we don’t allow him to use on us if we can help it).
At about 6 pounds , Kitto’s big enough to use the One Fast Cat exercise wheel when he feels like it. You might ask, “Why would you buy something like that for a dog?” Kitto needs fun things to do around the house. Sled dogs are built to RUN, and a dog that gets enough exercise is more likely to be a happy, well-behaved friend. Our vet loves the wheel for Kitto, but your vet might think differently for your pet, so ask first.
You’ve Come A Long Way, Kitto!
All of our effort so far is starting to pay off. Kitto was better with dogs at the second week of puppy class, and by the third, he was able to walk all around the room by himself, away from his humans, with all the other dogs around. He can still be temporarily overwhelmed by too many puppies climbing on him at once, but he’s mostly learned to play with one puppy at a time.
At nine weeks old, Kitto wasn’t sure how he felt about paper muffin cups. We’ve tried to expose him to so many new things and situations that there is nothing left to be afraid of. At fourteen weeks old (fifteen, as of today) he’s become used to new situations. Instead of triggering a long series of investigation, sniffing, poking, pouncing, and testing, new things are accepted easily, or at least without any initial fear or a long “get used to it” period.
If you’re following along with us as we socialize Kitto, the takeaway is that none of these things we’re doing are individually super important to hit or miss. What matters is the constant, early, and ongoing exposure to Something New.
Something New + A Fun Time = A Happy Dog.