Four problem behaviors that breeders unintentionally teach their puppies.
Before we invented the Adventure Box, we created many prototypes to help our pups handle touch, noise and sights. One of those early prototypes was a baby gate that the pups could squeeze through, helping them get comfortable with both touch and problem solving. It took us a week to build and then we used it exactly once. We quickly realized that while teaching problem solving, it was also teaching puppies to break through baby gates, one of the last behaviors we wanted a puppy to learn. Since then, we scrutinize everything our puppies are learning against their futures. Are we teaching our puppies something that will haunt or help their owners in the future?
Why is this important if pups are only with breeders such a short time, only 8 or perhaps 12 weeks? Because pups learn best what they learn first! What we teach puppies during the early sensitive period, from 3 weeks till they go home, will stay with them forever unless someone makes them unlearn it. Unlearning later is lots harder than learning right the first time! At this early age, puppies’ brains are undergoing important development. Some neural connections and pathways are being created while others are being shed. Connections that are practiced in these early weeks will lay the foundation for the puppy’s adult behavior.