Puppy Walks and Puppy Baths: 4 Surprising Reasons They're So Important In Your Puppy's Life
This is BusyBee. Bee is indeed busy - her family named her with intent and accuracy. Bee and brother Toby are about halfway through their 2 month training program. While Recess and Bath Time don’t necessarily sound like “training”, both play important roles in their education.
Recess lets a dog be a dog. We can create enrichment opportunities, even through unstructured play. A simple walk through the woods accomplishes multiple goals:
Exposure. Giving her the opportunity to safely romp off-leash, to splash in puddles, to roll in smelly smells. All of these activities build character and confidence.
Mental Stimulation. Sniffing out something new and investigating. Getting startled, recovering from a startle. New and exciting sights, smells and sounds.
Trust. She already trusts me, but it’s heightened by putting her in a situation/environment she’s unsure of. She’s curious and explores but constantly checks in with me visually (by looking back), and physically (by coming to heel without me calling, then taking off again). She knows I’m her safety net, hence intensifying the bond between trainee and handler.
Physical Stimulation. Age appropriate exercise is so important to a puppy’s development, especially a young one who is growing so fast. Say it with me y’all: a tired puppy is a good puppy!
And a good puppy is easier to groom than one full of pent up, been-stuck-inside-all-day energy. Which brings us to PartTwo of Bee’s busy day. Next stop, puppy spa.
While puppies this age (15weeks) need little regarding coat maintenance, they need plenty of preparation for adult grooming requirements, which are in two words, high maintenance. Puppyhood is the time to prepare them.
Along with a good old fashioned scrub down, we used a high velocity dryer, we brushed teeth, cleaned ears, dremeled nails, trimmed eyes and feet and hineys.
Currently her coat doesn’t take much to maintain, but in the future it will, so we make desensitization a big part of their education. I didn’t clip her today, but I did fire up the clippers and run them over her body (blades to the air) to acclimate her to vibration, noise, and the general experience of being handled. I poked and prodded and if a particular touch made her uncomfortable, I didn’t give her a pass. I focused on it more.
So take your dog for a walk and give a bath! No matter how routine or mundane an act or situation may seem, I assure you, multiple training opportunities lurk within. If you can’t find it, create it! You and your dog both will be more fulfilled.
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