Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Puppies Do Silly Things - That Are Educational

Puppies Swapping Spit

Puppies do lots of crazy things. They kiss each other, or as in this case get in a tounge lock!
They nip, bite, run, skid, jump, bounce, climb, and generally with ten of them create havoc!

Everyone once in while you hear will hear someone yipe or yell. This interaction teaches them how to get along with other dogs and with
humans as well. It is in the litter that puppies learn bite inhibition. If they bite a littermate the littermate YIPES, or bites back. Puppies learn not to bite hard. They also learn from their mom that biting hard is not a tolerated behavior. They learn what is accepted from their littermates and how to interact socially. This is why singleton puppies need to be raised carefully and why puppies need mothers that are well socialized themselves.

One puppy might grab a toy and run with it, getting everyone to chase him. He learns that playing is fun and he can initiate play. They also learn to share. With ten puppies crowded around a food dish sharing is mandatory.

I once attended a seminar on puppy nutrition and when the Dr. Hill, a PhD in canine nutrition from the University of Florida, Gainesville, told a room full of breeders that the ideal weaning age 6 to 7 weeks, you heard a loud gasp! Many breeders wean early at 3-4 weeks. But, he maintained that both for nutritional and behavioral purposes later was better. We agree with him. Windy still sees her puppies at least three times a day. More for socialization than nutrition but the interaction is good for everyone.

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