During the next two months we are entering a very active holiday season. We will be celebrating Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, or other religious holidays with family dinners and parties with family, friends, and co-workers. If you are a Puppy Raiser for Southeastern Guide Dogs, your puppy in training will be getting all sorts of new exposures and experiences during this time. Sights, sounds, smells, lights, unfamiliar people will be everywhere.
On page 94 of the Southeastern Guide Dogs Puppy Raiser Manual Exposure Don'ts for the guide dog puppy in training are discussed.
A few reminders:
Don't force the puppy into accepting something. Let the puppy, at its own pace, become comfortable with the new object/environment/person. A good thing to remember for Halloween's Trick or Treat night. If your puppy is frightened by the costumes, noise, and unfamiliar people ringing your doorbell, the puppy may be better off in a crate in quiet part of the house.
Don't overwhelm the puppy with too many new things at once. Consider the age, personality, maturity of the puppy, and prior outing experiences for all socialization and exposures.
Don't coddle the puppy if he shies away from something. Step back, relax, watch from a distance, and then try again. Gentle reassurance with a quick verbal or physical praise after acceptance is acceptable.
Don't let the puppy "act up" in public. Correct the puppy for inappropriate behaviors.
Let the Season Begin!