I've been asked several times about how to raise puppies, what to look for in training and other general questions seeking guidance on your new Lagotto puppies. If we have had an opportunity to speak, you will have heard me mention “Puppy Culture”. I thought I would provide just a little further information about this program, why I believe in it and what I suggest you look into in preparation for your new puppy. For starts, you will find a number of short clips from the video series in the playlist listed here:
Puppy Culture is a series of protocols design to give your puppy the best chance at thriving in our modern world from a very early age. Much of the program has to be directed to breeders as the protocols begin at under a week in age with Early Neurological stimulation. It then progresses throughout the young puppies life each week with new challenges designed to meet the puppy where he/she is at emotionally, taking into account a puppies natural emotional development.
This results in a puppy who is prepared to overcome challenges for themselves without being rescued all the time by the adults. It provides the puppy with the emotional fortitude to respond appropriately to new and unknown events, sounds and situations. This gives the puppy an adaptability that is not seen in young dogs who resort to fear based responses.
In addition, a significant part of these protocols are designed at giving the puppy the tools he/she needs to interact with their adults (us). It teaches a puppy to offer behaviors seeking to please and trigger reward. By giving a puppy these tools, you already have your puppies attention - the most important step in molding behavior. You also have a puppy who is earnestly seeking to ‘figure out’ what it is that you want - and who will try anything to trigger the reward that it wants. Finally, the protocols teach the basics of manding - sitting in front of you and looking up at you when they want something from you. This is the beginning of their communicating their needs to you (and your opportunity to offer solutions until you figure out which one she wants).
In short, properly implemented puppy culture protocols are a significant investment in time and energy for any breeder, however I firmly believe in the outcomes and results. As it comes time to pass the baton on to you, you can carry on with the program or go on your own way with tools and techniques that you have found work best for you. Should you wish to carry on, there are a couple of options. First, you could purchase the Puppy Culture series which is not inexpensive. Second, you could purchase or take out of the library, Jane Killion’s book “When Pigs Fly”. Jane is the producer of the Puppy Culture video series and works with and breeds English bulldogs.
Regardless of whether you intend to use puppy culture training techniques or not, I do encourage you to invest a few minutes to get an overview of what is involved in the program so that you are familiar with the training that your puppy has had by the time you receive him or her.
As always, please feel free to direct questions directly to me and I will do my best to get back to you in a timely manner,
All the best,