Earlier this year, I watched an educational video that completely blew me away. I know, how often can any of us say that?
Puppy Culture is a new video series that covers puppy development from pre-birth to 12 weeks of age. Creator and narrator Jane Killion uses an example litter of her Madcap Bull Terriers to trace every stage of puppy development. With each stage, Killion chronicles the opportunities for not just promotion of physical health, but also, for psychological well-being and emotional resiliency. The series is rich with interesting expert interviews that support each section.
What I find most powerful about Puppy Culture is that it offers clear science-based plans for breeders, while at the same time, is completely captivating and informative for non-breeders. Observing how young puppies can ideally learn, gain confidence and thrive is useful for anyone wishing to understand how to offer adolescent or adult dogs similar opportunities.
In Puppy Culture, Killion empathizes that the most critical learning periods occur within in the first 12 weeks of a puppy’s life. As she explains, this is the age at which learning comes quickly and easily, without the complications of fear or hesitancy that can come even just slightly later in life, based on a lack of good early experiences.
As Puppy Culture shows, good breeders health-test rigorously, and work painstakingly to ensure the physical well-being of their litters. Puppy Culture contains the plans to offer the same measures for emotional and behavioral well-being. The series isn’t for breeders who need to be more responsible – it is for breeders who are already responsible, and want to do the same thing they are already doing for physical health for psychological health! So many dogs lose their homes due to behavioral issues, rather than health problems. Puppy Culture shows many methods to set puppies up for optimal success all-around. The later end of the series also offers breeders a clear idea of how to direct puppy owners to good training centers and trainers, and how to give clear instruction on instrumental early training methods.
What’s wrong with dogs who engage in “problem” behaviors? Do they bite because they are dominant? … The answer is, in dog culture, it’s perfectly natural and normal for dogs to do these things. If we don’t intervene when the puppy is still malleable and impress upon him the advantages of doing things our way, the puppy will fall back on his “default DNA,” which most puppy owners will not like.
— Jane Killion, Founder of Puppy Culture
By the age that puppies come home with their new owners, very little time remains for true socialization. As Killion explains, the real socialization period ends around 12 weeks of age. The first weeks we have our puppies are critical, and understanding what socialization actually is and how to offer it is invaluable.
Puppy Culture is a masterpiece! It is fun to watch, and contains so much great information in one place. I can’t wait to see the implications of this series on future generations of dogs. As someone who is madly in love with a reactive/aggression-prone breed (the Welsh Terrier), I say without a doubt that the next dog that comes into me and Miles’ life will be raised using Puppy Culture protocols.