It’s hard work being a puppy anywhere. All that playing, sleeping, being catered to is exhausting. It’s hard work raising a nice puppy too. I’ve come to realize the challenges can be quite different depending on a few things -breed tendencies, size, age and where you live! The difference between an apartment dog and a house dog can be quite amazing (often apartment dogs get a lot more exposure to the great big world!). Being raised in a city versus in the country can be quite a monumental difference as well.
Our dogs spend lots of time both in rural and urban environments. We laugh when we return to the city after a break and they bark at a city sound (“Country Dog”) but we also chuckle when city dogs come for a visit and can’t cope with the quiet of our home reacting to any little sound (“City Dog”). At the moment our balance is seriously country dog which means I’m working hard to remember to bring the puppies into town occasionally.
Recently we had a big trip to a city with Yen and Wyn. I found a fairly quiet park that had a children’s section so both puppies got to run across bouncing sway bridges and grating – they both thought that was hilarious! They both got to greet a stranger (to them-not me!) getting into the car. Yen got to come into Pet Valu with me. They both saw squirrels, seagulls, people on bikes and buses – Yen may have seen these things before yesterday but they were all firsts for Wyn! Wyn was stopped and patted by complete strangers. (Yen was a little shy about this although she was polite enough)
It was a good reminder for me that social skills aren’t ticked off the list then put away like Hollowe’en decorations to be trotted out as needed. At least for many years the investment in time doing new, interesting and opposite things will pay back in spades. Brody and Thea at 12.5 and 9.5 are pretty bomb proof now but I forget so easily how much work that was.
I enjoy having the dogs with me, with multiple dogs it takes a little more planning, who is going to get the most from a trip? Who needs it? Who can cope best with the challenges? All things I consider now – back in 2 dogs days we just took both everywhere!
A short list for your perusal and consideration … did I miss big important things?
Things County Puppies Learn Relatively Easily
climbing, leaping, rough surfaces, wild smells don’t mean vanish forever, birds, tractors and fast cars, off leash walking, flashlights predicate fun in the dark, ponds are fun, you can never eat all the horse, cattle, deer, rabbit poop so just don’t bother …
Things City Puppies Learn Easily
elevators, polished floors, people of all types can be good things, wheelchairs are no big deal, loose leash walking, road traffic is not exciting, beeps, brakes and horns, emergency vehicle sounds (pretty sure Wyn has never heard a siren), you can walk past dogs and not bother looking
Socializing is ongoing, fun and challenging butit’s important to find the things that aren’t as easy to tick of the list and it’s important to revisit the list! My full list of ideas (and there are many I missed)!
I always think about how Oreo would ever have been able to handle living in a busy city. He certainly couldn't handle it now, nor would I ever put him in such a situation unless I had no choice.
Chewy has a nasty habit of lunging at cars going by. Part of his herding instinct for sure, but also due to the fact that we do a lot more trail walking than road walking. I really should work on that more than I do.
Great list! I'm fortunate to have had dogs who've been mellow enough when encountering their first street traffic, off-leash mountain hike, or whatever. Still, not everything was a piece of cake.
Here are a couple more-specific things that my Boost still doesn't like: Kids playing football in the street–when the ball sails through the air and hits the ground. Remote-control cars and helicopters (those toys REALLY move oddly).
Oh, and walking across a bridge where you can see below you–like with boards that don't always quite meet, or is narrow with sides you can see through (the height, I guess).