What do puppies need?
Puppies grow and develop at a very high speed. Their development consists of physical growth (getting bigger), sensory development (sight and sound and being able to localise where it comes from), coping with the world. Puppies can be offered a variety of stimulation in order to develop in these areas.
Sensory stimulation (surfaces, sounds, movement), body awareness (coordination, balance, proprioception) and learning experiences to build their confidence are part of this. Pups have to deal with a world that does not always make sense to dogs and socialisation is a big part of puppy development.
What do people want? Mostly they want a puppy to have fun with and go out and about with. Not always directly in tuned with what the puppy might need to develop into the dog that you can take anywhere.
The physical side of puppy development needs to be addressed. When teaching people with puppies it is important to explain just how the body develops and also how the brain develops through the developmental stages. This knowledge of development is important to have as a trainer. With this knowledge you will be able to provide suitable challenges and be able to give advice as to what exercise and experiences a young puppy can manage.
Physical development is not just growth of the body but there is also the development of the brain. Even though this is not visible straight away it is visible in the way a puppy learns to deal with the world. The development of the brain consists of the development of neural pathways, connections between brain cells. These connections develop under influence of all the different experiences a puppy has when growing up. By offering a variety of experiences and challenges we can influence the number of connections that are made between brain cells, which will influence the ability of the puppy to deal with the world and stress.
By providing experiences and challenges we can influence the development of puppies. The different challenges will influence the bond between owner and puppy (having fun) and will stimulate the development of the neural pathways and body awareness. After the age of approximately 6 months there will be other developments that will influence both of these areas. By offering proprioception training throughout the puppy period we are able to lay the foundation for the further development in the adolescent period.
Hormones and the influence on development. At a certain point pups grow out of being pups and into being teenagers. Adolescence comes with a whole new set of challenges. There are major changes physically and mentally. The basis of these changes lie in the development of the brain and changes in hormone production and the way information is processed.
Being aware of what is happening with adolescents will make it easier for you to manage the situation for dog owners and dogs. Adjusting your training and your expectations will make it easier for adolescents to be successful.
We will be looking at the process of hormonal development, the influence of hormones on the body, the development of the brain, changes in behaviour and what are the implications of this on the subject of neutering?
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Sam studied Ethology at Wageningen University where she received her Masters of
Science (Msc) degree in 1998. From there she specialised in dog behevaiour and
training. In 2006 she founded her own dog training facility Paws4Fun.
Always wanting to continue learning and teaching she attends different courses and
seminars. From 2010 till 2012 Sam was a mentor in the Learning about Dogs team for
the online learning environment COLLAR. In 2012 she developed Proprioception
training for dogs in The Netherlands. This has resulted in a puppy, adolescent and
senior programme in the form of workshops and courses.
Teaching is a passion for Sam and in 2013 she started an instructors course on
Proprioception training as well as an online learning environment (Clicker Training
Academy). She gives lectures and workshops for professionals in the pet and sport
dog industry on the subjects clicker training, puppy development, adolescents and
proprioception training in different countries (Scotland, England, Belgium, France,
The Netherlands). Also she has written several articles on dog behaviour and clicker
training for the Dutch website doggo.nl. And in June 2016 she will be speaking at the
IMDT (Institute for Modern Dog Trainers) conference for dog trainers and dogbehaviourists.
She Has been training people and their dogs professionally for 17 years. In 2016 her third
book of the series: "Your dog physically and mentally in balance." was published in The
Netherlands. She is a member of the IMDT.
Sam has specialised in Proprioception training for dogs the past 6 years. This experience
gives her extensive knowledge of how a dog's body develops and moves and how to offer
exercise best suited to the individual dog. Whether your dog is a pet dog, a sports dog or
has an injury, proprioception training offers exercises suited to develop and maintain fitness.