We have organised ourselves ready for our puppy. We have set up his Puppy Pen so that he has his own space in a part of the house with lots of activity but where he can have a sanctuary to rest and observe the novelty of his new home.
We have set his pen up with a clear distinction between sleeping, play and toilet areas. If a puppy has a space where these area are not distinguishable then it is more difficult for the puppy to practise appropriate toileting behaviours making house training more difficult. The door to exit his pen is sited so he exits from his sleeping play area rather than his toileting area.
From his pen Drifter will be able to observe the world around him. At this stage of development he will have a strong desire to please and will enjoy social contact. Our set up will ensure we will be able to better supervise these interactions making them pleasant events when he is out and about and we can focus on him. We will also be introducing him to our older dogs and cat. The puppy pen will help to ensure that these introductions are appropriate and time limiting for all concerned.
Drifter will be seven weeks old when he comes home and from this age puppies can become increasingly afraid of things they have not encountered before so the introduction to novel experiences will take place with care. In the coming weeks he will be experiencing and enjoying lots of different situations and environments.
Between seven weeks and three months is the most critical point in a dogs life for socialisation and habituation and it is important to make the most of this period to gently introduce new experiences. Play will be increasingly important to Drifter during this period for both mental and physical stimulation, and a great opportunity for us to build that enduring relationship that will last a lifetime.