Everything you need for your Portuguese Water Dog!
How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With, 4th Edition
This is the "bible" of puppy raising that a host of breeders recommend to new puppy owners. Learn how the puppy's body and mind develop and what you can do to shape his behavior into a well-adjusted, well behaved dog. Explains what breeders should do during the puppy's first seven weeks to insure that the puppy adapts well to family life, plus positive methods for socialization and training puppies of any breed from birth to one year of age.
by Clarice Rutherford and David H. Neil
EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 6
The growth of the dogís brain is complete in half a year
compared to eighteen years in humans. Think about that
And about how fast these first puppy weeks fly by.
With the information gathered from brain research in recent years, we are beginning to understand the whys of working with our pups at an early age. "The more sensory stimulation that the dogís brain receives," states Bruce Fogle, DVM, in The Dogís Mind, "the more developed his mind will become." Sensory and physical activities cause nerve cells (neurons) in the brain to grow and make new synaptic connections with other nerve cells. This results in a network that expands to accommodate and assimilate new information.
Prepare Your Eight- to Sixteen-Week-Old Puppy for the Future
Experiences during the pupís first months determine the actual wiring of the brain. Each time your pup learns a new activity, makes eye contact, responds to your voice, or plays with you and others (including dogs), he stimulates the connections in the networks of the brain. These connections, called synapses, are strengthened when stimulated and become part of the brainís permanent structures. If the synapses receive no signals from the neurons, they wither away.
How do you deal with those neuron responsibilities? Take a leave of absence from your job? Spend at least twelve hours a day with your pup? Smother him with structured activities? No, thatís not necessary. But plan to give your puppy as large a variety of experiences as you can during these early months. If you work, your pup should be top priority when youíre home.
Stimulate Those Neurons
Physical activities introduce a variety of challenges that stimulate the growth of brain cells. Help your pup navigate the rungs of a ladder lying on the ground and walk a board about twenty-four inches wide, two feet off the ground. Teach him to climb an A-frame (or any inclined surface that has cleats), run through a tunnel (available in toy stores, or you can use a long box with ends removed), and climb up and down wide stairs. Other activities include jumping over fallen branches or a broomstick set six to eight inches off the ground. Donít try to show off and have your pup jump higher.
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