Socializing your puppy

      PUPPIES GO THROUGH A CRITICAL SOCIALIZATION PERIOD FROM 6 TO 16 WEEKS OF AGE THAT WILL DRAMATICALLY IMPACT THEIR BEHAVIOR FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. DURING THIS PERIOD, THEIR BRAINS ARE LIKE TINY SPONGES – SOAKING UP EVERYTHING THEY EXPERIENCE AND FILING IT AWAY FOR THE FUTURE. I SHOULD NOTE HERE THAT SOME EXPERTS IN THE FIELD CONSIDER THE SOCIALIZATION PERIOD TO END AS EARLY AS 12 WEEKS, AND THERE IS ALSO SOME EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST DIFFERENCES IN THE OPTIMAL SOCIALIZATION WINDOW FOR DIFFERENT BREEDS – WHICH IS A FASCINATING TOPIC IN ITSELF, BUT BEYOND THE SCOPE OF TODAY SUFFICE IT TO SAY, AS A GENERAL RULE OF THUMB, 16 WEEKS IS A GOOD ESTIMATION.)    WHATEVER PUPPIES SEE AT THIS AGE, THEY WILL CONSIDER A NORMAL PART OF LIFE AS ADULTS. KIDS ON BICYCLES? FINE. PEOPLE WITH UMBRELLAS AND SHINY COATS? NO PROBLEM. LAWNMOWERS, CRYING BABIES, MEN WITH BEARDS AND HATS – FOR A WELL-SOCIALIZED PUPPY, THESE THINGS ARE ALL A NORMAL PART OF THE WORLD AROUND THEM. BUT… BEYOND 16 WEEKS, SOMETHING HAPPENS. NEW THINGS, WHICH BEFORE WERE ACCEPTED WITH CHEERFUL CURIOSITY AND A WAGGING TAIL, ARE NOW MET WITH SUSPICION. ANYTHING THAT THE PUP HAS NOT ALREADY ENCOUNTERED IS AUTOMATICALLY ASSUMED TO BE DANGEROUS AND SCARY – SO BICYCLES, UMBRELLAS, LAWNMOWERS, ETC. ARE NOW TERRIFYING MONSTERS TO BE BARKED AT OR COWERED AWAY FROM. YOU MAY HAVE MET ADULT DOGS WHO ARE FEARFUL OF EVERYDAY OBJECTS OR UNFAMILIAR PEOPLE; IN MANY CASES, THIS IS THE END RESULT OF POOR SOCIALIZATION DURING THIS ALL-IMPORTANT PERIOD. IF YOU WANT YOUR PUPPY TO BE OK WITH ANY ENVIRONMENT, PUT HIM IN EVERY ENVIRONMENT. KIDS ROLLING ALL OVER THEM, GUNS, FOUR WHEELERS, PARKS, FIRECRACKERS, PEOPLE EVERYTHING! :)   SO, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU? IT MEANS TO BE SMART ABOUT WHERE YOU TAKE YOUR PUPPY BEFORE SHE’S FULLY VACCINATED. I NORMALLY RECOMMEND AVOIDING PLACES LIKE DOG PARKS, PET STORES, AND HIGH-TRAFFIC PUBLIC AREAS WHERE LOTS OF STRANGE DOGS ARE WALKED. INSTEAD, VISIT FRIENDS WITH HEALTHY, VACCINATED PETS. GO FOR CAR RIDES – VISIT MCDONALDS, STARBUCKS, OR THE DRIVE-THRU LANE AT YOUR BANK OR PHARMACY. WALK YOUR PUP AROUND THE BLOCK TO MEET YOUR NEIGHBORS. INVITE THE KIDS PLAYING OUTSIDE TO SAY HELLO.  ​ 

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Male VS Female

 

  Obviously, male and female dogs are different anatomically, but what are the behavioral differences between them? Is one gender more intelligent or compliant than the other?

    The question of which is "better," male or female dogs, is a subject that has yet to be studied scientifically. But most dog lovers have definite opinions based on their own experience. According to PetMD:

    "Some believe that the male dog is more affectionate and easier to train, while the female dog is more aggressive and protective of its owners and puppies. Well, the truth is that when it comes to dogs and puppies there is no superior sex.

    "[These] qualities… are just the anecdotal observations of many dog owners. There is no study that has proved any general truism that a dog will behave a certain way because it is male or female."

  Most knowledgeable dog people agree that a canine's behavior depends on his upbringing and training. Affection, aggression, and other traits — both positive and negative – are fostered by a dog's environment and his human caretakers.

 

 The breeding prospect logistics. If you plan to own a show prospect dog (show dogs cannot be altered), there are also differences to note between in-tact males and females:

​      In-tact males mark. This is different than peeing… they’re actually lifting their leg and spritzing their urine as a calling card over your property: beds, sofas, drapes, coffee tables. Curbing this behavior is possible but will take some serious work on the part of the diligent owner. This behavior starts around 9 months of age and continues (if left un-curbed) for the lifetime of the dog… especially around females who are in season.

​     In-tact females go into heat. Twice a year, owners have to lock them up in their crates to 1) prevent the males from getting to them, and 2) minimize the amount of dripping discharge they would otherwise leave all over the house. This starts anywhere from 9-15 months for the “first heat,” lasts three weeks, and repeats about every six months. 


    Having your weimaraner Spayed or neuter at 6 months. The sooner the BETTER AND CHEAPER. They won't be trying to search the neighborhood for a mate if you take away the urge.

 The size factor. My females are about 24″ tall to the shoulders. In normal people speak, they’re petite little things in the world of Weimaraners. My males are about 25-26″ tall. That’s about mid-size. It’s important to note that the extra 2″ in height between males and females actually make a BIG difference. Boys appear and feel much “heftier” than girls. Since they are taller, they’re also able to reach more stuff off the kitchen counter.