Hope you enjoy the video below of little Ditto playing hard but learning LOADS at the same time. What a positive and confident response to such a new and different environment and animals.
People often say to me 'yes I socialised my puppy in environment X' or 'yes I socialised my puppy with new experience/object X'. This means very little. The information missing is how many times did the puppy meet 'X', at how many points throughout its development and how was the socialisation managed/controlled. As we say at D-Force ... don't go socialisation hunting, go socialisation training.
Canines go through a number of developmental stage. With each stage, a puppies outlook on a situation can change massively. Lets take Ditto and the Shetland pony for example.
- At 7 weeks Ditto meets her first horse (OK, more of a goat is size). As the video shows, her reaction is confident and friendly and to top it all she comes back to her tuggy when called every time.
- Within the next month or so, Ditto will being to understand flight and flight distance. "I'm scared I'm going to run this far" type attitude.
- If in between now (first horse encounter) and four months Ditto meats no more horses, her outlook response to horses could be unrecognisable.
- Ditto therefore needs to meet horses regularly
- The way in which Ditto meets horses needs to adapt through her developmental stages i.e going back to on-lead training throughout flight distance stage.
Google 'canine developmental stages' - it may just change how you raise your pup!
"100 new people by 12 weeks" - Dr. Ian Dunbar, PhD
Apply this to everything not just people and whatever you do, don't stop at 12 weeks!