*EDIT: this post has been copied and used WITHOUT my permission. This post is written by me (Malissa Speaker) and is not to be copied, shared without my consent. It is defiantly not to be used on a website and used as if it is someone else’s personal experience!
I get several people asking what the big deal is about Puppy Culture and Puppy Start Right. The answer is simply it’s probably not a big deal to most people. Plenty of amazing puppies are bred and raised by breeders who do not use either program. What I can do is tell you why it’s a big deal to me.
Puppy Culture was my intro into puppy development and the importance of the Socialization Period. Contrary to belief Socialization is not just puppies meeting kids and babies. Puppy Culture focuses on the first 12 weeks of development. As a breeder I have them in my care during a majority of that time. Puppy Culture creates a solid foundation. It sets the stage for any and all training that comes after. Puppy Culture gives detailed instructions for breeders, trainers and owners on how to provide Puppy Culture protocols at specific developmental stages within the Socialization period. These include:
- Habituation and Conditioning
- Developmentally Appropriate Socialization and Enrichment Activities
- Take a Treat and Adding the Clicker
- Problem Solving Challenges
- Clicker Training Games
- Potty Training and Crate Conditioning
- Resource Guarding and Exchanges
- Attention, Leash Walking and Body Handling
- Introducing Sit, Down, Recall, Heel Position, Crate Release, and more
I have personally chosen to invest in this program and several of it’s companion videos and books to broaden my knowledge and assist me with my breeding program.
You can read more about why I love Puppy Culture here!
Puppy Start Right is a course I took to not only expand my knowledge but to be able to offer puppy classes to my puppy families and to people in my community. This course again focuses on the critical Socialization Period (8 weeks-12/16 weeks) but also includes materiel on how to teach the importance of socialization and puppy training to puppy parents. Here is a quote from my website SitnStayPawsitive.com “The first 12 weeks are critical for socialization and learning. Much of what people think of as problem behaviors in adult dogs often comes down to not providing proper early socialization. The best time to provide this is during a puppy’s socialization period, typically under 12 weeks old. What your puppy learns during this important developmental stage will likely shape his behavior for the rest of his life. Proper early socialization creates the foundation for having a confident, friendly, well-adjusted companion.”
This is a certification program where my knowledge and understanding of the material was tested. Some of the material includes:
- Development and Behavior
- Developmental Periods
- Domestication vs Taming
- Social Behavior of Dogs
- Sensory Perceptions
- Body Language
- How Dogs Learn
- Learning Theory
- Innate Behavior and Learning
- Positive Socialization
- Intro to Positive Training
- Training Basics
- Clicker Basics
- Foundation Exercises (attention, sit, down, target, place, recall, bring it, leave it,etc)
- Problem Prevention and Solving (potty training, chewing, jumping, etc)
- Diseases and Vaccinations
EDIT: Since this post was written I have gone on to take a Puppy Socialization course from Avidog as well as Fundamentals of Dog Training and Behavior from VSA. Investing in my education and broadening my understanding of puppy development assists me in raising puppies. It has become so important to me that it has motivated me to pursue my professional dog trainer certification Fall 2021.