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cschroeder Posted - 02/26/2014 : 2:14:52 PM
This is the first batch of pups that I've raised (I say I, but to this point, 1 1/2 weeks, mom has "raised them"). I'm wondering at what age should I be handling the pups more to introduce the "human interaction" factor of life? I don't want to ruin anything for mom or puppies by handling them too soon, but I feel it must be an important phase of life, especially with them being a GSP cross and my understanding is they are a much more affectionate and "love needing" dog. All ideas and opinions are appreciated!
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Log Dog Posted - 02/27/2014 : 10:31:46 PM
Yes, please handle those pups! You missed a week and a half, but can still make it up. Put them in a box and bring them inside for short periods. Momma won't like it, but she'll be O.K. Their eyes are closed until two weeks, but their sniffer and ears work just fine. Let them smell different people, hear different noises (not loud scary ones though).

Most importantly, now is the time to introduce them to kids! If you have kids this is easy, let them play with pups. If you don't have kids, get some friends to bring their kids over and supervise them play with your pups. Teach the kids how to be gentle with puppies. Show them how to hold them and how to pet them. Supervise them at all times. But for the sake of every child your dogs will encounter over the course of their lives, introduce them to kids!

RSmith Posted - 02/27/2014 : 09:22:56 AM
Immediately. From the day they are born indeed.
Start 'imprinting them'. Turning them upside down and rubbing/touching their feet and belly. Lots of time from day one . At 2 weeks they should be able to see you well enough.
Keep on doing the upside down thing, they don't want to be upside down but need to know they are safe. Especially when their sight and smell and hearing become important. They will have already associated your smell with good things.
All the things become important later on when you need to do things like trim nails, fur, bootie, foot ointment, etc.etc.
I think its proven that pups handled a lot during early development may end up calmer or able to handle those sorts of things or even stress better than pups maybe not handled much or much later in life.
Anduril Musher Posted - 02/27/2014 : 08:45:38 AM
From the day they are born and every day of their life. Human socialization and learning to be comfortable being handled is crucial if you want adult dogs that are confident in new situations and with new people and easy to handle and train.

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