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Puppy Socialization & Exposure

Exposure and Socialization are extremely important for young puppies. We start handling our Tamaskan puppies constantly, from the moment they are born. We weigh each puppy on a daily basis (for the first 2 weeks) to ensure they are all gaining weight and we check them all over, several times per day, to ensure that they are all growing properly (no congenital / developmental abnormalities or infections, etc). We also practice some ENS (Early Neurological Stimulation) techniques to get the puppies used to different types of handling.

We also change all of the blankets and towels in their whelping box every day, which entails a lot of handling/moving the puppies around and getting them used to new smells (clean laundry and fresh sheets). Sometimes, in the event that their dam has low milk supply, or there are a lot of puppies in the litter, or some puppies are a bit smaller and/or weaker than the others, then we will tube-feed the puppies around the clock (to supplement their mother's milk supply) for the first 3 weeks, which entails an even greater amount of daily handling.

Soon after the puppies are born, usually around the time when they start opening their eyes and becoming more active, we regularly have a lot of visitors who come over to our house to meet and interact with the puppies. Of course, the puppies are very small and still have underdeveloped immune systems at this age, so we have to take necessary precautions to try to prevent introducing any diseases, viruses, parasites, bacteria, etc to the puppy room... but regular handling by different people of all ages is a vital part of the socialization phase. It is around this age that we introduce the puppies to our children and cats. Once the puppies are a bit larger and more active, usually around 3-4 weeks old, we expand the whelping box to give them the whole puppy room to explore.

When the puppies are around 4-5 weeks old, we start letting them outside for short periods each day to play in the grassy area, which we fill with a variety of objects with which they can play, interact and climb on/under/inside. We gradually increase the time they spend outdoors each day (with full access to their indoor room whenever they want to go inside) so that they are used to all the smells, sights and sounds of the outdoors. We also start the more intensive socialization phase, including hosting "puppy parties" for visitors to interact with the puppies.

Around this age, we also bring the puppies into our kitchen and living room areas on a regular basis to acclimatize them with regular daily household smells, sights, and sounds... from the dishwasher to laundry machines, doorbell to vacuum cleaner, as well as a plethora of children's toys.

During the time they are with us, we usually bath the puppies at least twice before they go to their new homes, so they are used to the sensation of being washed/bathed.

For the puppies that will travel internationally, we also start introducing them to the transport crate at around 8 weeks old and, for our longer-term Extended Stay puppies (10 - 15/16+ weeks old, or longer) we start taking them on outtings/excursions all over the city.


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