Thursday, September 2, 2010

Puppy Preschool

Zachary 8-10 weeks
Dog Blog Post #117: I've decided that Zachary's Primary School Curriculum isn't going to work for One-of-Ten (my placeholder name for my puppy-to-be.)

While I started it when Zachary was a puppy, by the time I got it settled he was practically a dog (well, a teenage dog, but certainly well beyond an eight week old puppy.)

So, back to the planning board I go, trying to determine what is reasonable for a puppy to accomplish -and- what kind of timeline it is reasonable for whatever-it-is to be accomplished in.

Let's see, what do I have to work with?

Yes, I'm thinking as I'm typing.

No, that's probably not a good idea, but I only have so much time...

  • Goals and Resolutions tend to sprout at the new year
  • I'll be getting One-of-Ten near the end of September
  • There are three months between the end of September and the New Year (see mom, all those of years of college weren't a waste after all)

So there you have it. One-of-Ten's Preschool Curriculum will be based on whatever it is I think a puppy can/should learn in three months.

Hmm.... I wonder what a puppy can/should learn in three months?

(That's from 2 months until 5 months (or 8 to 20 weeks) for those playing along at home.)

Wow... That's a really critical time period.

Zachary at 6 weeks
The first 2/3 of that is when they tell you as much socialization with dogs, places, and people as possible should occur. It's also when they tell you to keep puppy far away from all those nasty germs that dogs, places, and people have.

No, I don't understand how to do that either. If someone could explain it, I would be eternally grateful.

The last bit continues the socialization, while building up skills (such as the elusive recall and loose leash) that hopefully will be strong enough to withstand the onslaught of The Terrible Teens, which start somewhere in Month 5 and probably extend well into their first year (although Zachary was really easy and Beau... wasn't.)


This is much to important to leave to random thoughts typed into a blog.

So I will leave you with what I shamelessly stole from Wikipedia under "Preschool Education" as the Development Areas for a human child:

  • Personal, social, economical, and emotional development
  • Communication, including talking and listening
  • Knowledge and understanding of the world
  • Creative and aesthetic development
  • Educational software
  • Mathematical awareness and development
  • Physical development
  • Playing
  • Self-help skills
  • Social skills

I'm thinking there is enough there to work with, especially given all the puppy books I have laying about, Stitch's Blog (which I am heartily enjoying! I'm on Week 17) and a new puppy book I just ordered that is on its way ("The Focused Puppy: A Training System for Raising a GREAT Companion and Performance Dog" by Deborah Jones PhD and Judy Keller).

So much to do, with Puppy Preparations and all, and yet I know if I wait to plan out his first few weeks/months until One-of-Ten actually arrives, it will never get done.

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