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2. Getting the Puppy home * 8 weeks to 4-5 months *

Updated: Sep 12, 2022

It is important to begin socializing, developing and training your new puppy as soon as you get it home. Early imprints have proven to be very important. Start crate training right away to give your puppy security, teach him his place and begin potty training. Daily walks “off leash” to give your youngster the freedom to explore, be a puppy and begin developing naturally. It is important they be given the opportunity to chase butterflies and let all their senses experience as much as possible during this time. Daily, short retrieving sessions with knotted up socks, balls and small bumpers in a hall way or corridor. Intro to water if weather permits. Intro to clip wing pigeon or quail just to spark the puppies natural instinct for birds. Do NOT over do it with chasing and retrieving birds. Begin teaching your puppy limits such as not chewing up your shoes or getting in the garbage etc. Start restraint training out on the stake chain or chain gang in the yard. Simple obedience through attrition and treats is ok, but don’t over do walking at heal and sitting. Dogs are creatures of habit and if you over due these exercises at too early of an age it could slow their development and training in the field as they get older. Use preventative medicine, common sense and patience, and enjoy your puppy in the these early days. The challenge is in finding balance between formal training and obedience and developing a youngster that feels the independence to run, hunt and point birds.

- Ryan Fortier

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