Desensitizing your puppy
What is desensitizing and why is it important?
Desensitizing occurs when you safely expose your puppy to new sounds, sights, textures and experiences so that they will not be afraid of them as an adult. We started desensitizing your puppy when he or she was 3 weeks old and continued until they went to their new homes. To ensure that your puppy does not form fears as an adult you will need to continue the process until they are 16 weeks old.
Under our care, they experienced a new sound, texture and experience every day. My recommendations are to continue exposing your puppy to new sights, people and places when they have been safely vaccinated and it is safe to be around other people. Here are some ideas of how to continue desensitizing your puppy.
It is important to continue exposing your puppy to new sounds. You can easily find numerous sound recordings online to play. Try to think about any sound that your puppy will hear during the rest of its life and expose them to it now.
The recordings below are a place to start. Start with the volume low. If your puppy does not react fearfully to the sound gradually increase the sound watching their reaction. At any point, if your puppy becomes fearful, reduce the volume and comfort your puppy.
Daily Sound Recordings - click and listen
Music Recordings to get your started
Keep working on desensitizing their body so that they will be perfect angels when you brush them, they go to the vet or go to the groomer. We worked on this daily but you will need to continue this work until they are around 16 weeks old. The work that you do now will pay off when they are adults. Here are my recommendations for things to work on:
I realize that COVID-19 restricts what all of us do but take your puppy with you when you leave your house if possible once they have received all of their vaccinations. I normally recommend that once vaccinated that you expose them to activities that you like to do such as hiking, swimming, etc. Just make sure to revisit the Puppy Fitness Booklet in your blue folder for age-appropriate exercise activities. If you can take them with you to stores or places to eat do so once they have been properly vaccinated. They will experience new sounds, sights, smells and surfaces there.
Once your puppy has been safely vaccinated take them out with you on walks to experience new textures such as concrete, dirt, asphalt, grass, etc. They were exposed to many surfaces as tiny puppies and this exposure can help them not be hesitant when touching a new surface.