Why early puppy socialisation has been vital for Luna
October 10, 2019
Newly-weds Andrew and Magda welcomed a new addition to their family in the form of a big ball of white fluff called Luna. Here’s their story, told by Andrew, about their journey into pup-parenthood. He explains why early puppy socialisation was important for Luna.
Magda’s been around dogs all her life, but for me it was a totally new experience and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. My one experience of dog-sitting was when my sister-in-law’s dog came to stay and did a huge smelly poo on the living room carpet!
Somehow Magda managed to persuade me that our dog would be different. And so far she’s been right. There’s been a couple of poos in the house, which is to be expected as Luna’s still a puppy. But at 12 weeks old, and growing at a rate of 1kg a week, she has already learned to use the bell to let us know that she wants to go out to the toilet. And she’s slept through the night almost from day one.
Luna’s a white German Shepherd dog, a breed that Magda has always wanted. She looked more like a big fluffy cat than a dog when we first got her. Right now she looks like a white wolf, although she’s not at all wolf-like in her nature. She’s got the sweetest personality and loves cuddles. Saying that, she’s just starting to show a bit of an independent streak. Like when she lies on top of the plants in the flowerbed and refuses to budge. You should see what she’s done to my garden!
Puppy socialisation period
White German Shepherds can be quite skittish if they are not in the right hands, so it took Luna’s breeder some convincing that we were going to be right for her.
” As they can be quite timid, it’s particularly important with White German Shepherds to socialise them during that critical puppy socialisation period.”
Once she was happy that we were committed, the breeder helped us find the right match from the litter. We wanted a girl who was nice and calm, not too boisterous and that’s exactly who Luna is. She’s a perfect match.
One thing the breeder was insistent on was a socialisation plan, so much so that we had to sign a contract with the breeder to say that we would properly socialise Luna. As they can be quite timid, it’s particularly important with White German Shepherds to socialise them during that critical puppy socialisation period.
Socialisation versus vaccinations
This has meant getting her out and about before she has been fully vaccinated to expose her to different experiences so that she doesn’t develop fears when she’s older. We researched and risk assessed this carefully and decided that it was in Luna’s best interest that we did this.
Last week she enjoyed a play date with the Labradoodle who lives next door and has travelled on the bus three times now. We don’t have a car so getting Luna used to travelling by public transport has been really important. As always, she was very well behaved.
Interestingly, Luna seems to prefer cats to dogs. She was raised in a house with cats and so when she sees one, she just wants to hang out with them. She’s very gentle. Sadly, the cats don’t seem to feel the same way about hanging out with a dog.
One thing I hadn’t appreciated about getting Luna was how she would make me feel. I’ve turned into this over-protective father character and get a bit on edge if I think anyone is playing rough with her.
I definitely think that dogs bring out the best in you and she is definitely part of our family. I have to keep reminding myself that she’s a dog and not a child. Magda says she is my ‘little princess’. She’s probably right.