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Picardy Shepherd Kennel
NOBLE PICARD
How to raise for your Picardy Shepherd
Socialization
Socialization is a critical step in the neurological development
of your Picardy Shepherd. The time and energy you will
spend doing this important task will be a determining factor
in the education of a well-balanced dog. The Picardy
shepherd is a shy dog with a tendency to avoid contacts with
strangers, proper socialization is essential  to raise a confident
and well assured dog.  Studies tend to show that the behaviour
of a dog consists of 25% innate (genetic,hereditary) and 75% of
learned behaviour(consequences ofdifferent experiences). The
period of crucialneurological development takes place in the four
first monthsof life of your dog. The choice of a good breeder and
youravailability towards the puppy once you’ve bring him home will
have a major impact on how easily your Picardy shepherd will
become a well balanced and sociable companion; a true
member of your family.  Now let’s look at the key stages of  
behavioural development your Picardy shepherd will go through
and how you can take part in this learning process


Prenatal phase, 1st and 2nd weeks of life
Long before the puppy to be born see his first ray of day light he is been conditioned
according to his environment. To maximize the development of the unborn puppy the
dedicated breeder will ensure the physical as well as psychological well-being of his
pregnant dames. Simple emotions such as stress, fear or calmness felt by the mother will
be transmitted to puppies developing in the womb and will have an impact on their
sensitivity. At birth the puppy is completely dependent on his mother. His neurological
development is limited to functions essential to his survival such as feeding, sleeping and
thermo regulation.

Phase of awakening or awareness: 3rd week
This phase of awareness is like a second birth for small Picard’s. From this point the
development of the puppies will go really fast as if they were put into high gear. With the
development of the sensory organs, such as vision and hearing they acquired certain
independence and begin to react to their environment. It's during this period that they
begin voluntary elimination and they start playing.


Socialization phase: week four to sixteen
Socialization is a critical phase during which the puppy will learn to identify to his specie
and his environment. Experiences and their consequences will serve as a reference to the
young pup for the rest of his life. Without proper socialization the dog will most likely
develop serious behavioural problem that may never be fully resolved. The period for
socialization occurs only once in the life of a dog, if you do not maximize the learning
experiences during this time there is no second chance and the emotional equilibrium of
your dog can be seriously compromised. Socialization of the puppy will begin at the kennel
with us for the first eight weeks and then continue with his new guardian until he’s 16
weeks old.  I will split the socialization phase of two parts to explain what will have been
done at the kennel and what should be done once you get your puppy.


While at the kennel the puppy will go through an important phase of social attraction. He
will learn to communicate with his own specie; first with his mother and litter mates and then
with other dogs. He will learn bite inhibition and calming
signals. See Ella Dee on the picture sending calming
signals to her father. Notice the lowered ears, the low body
posture and raised paw. Without this non-verbal language
the puppy will have a lot of difficulty communicating
properly as he grows up and might without realizing send
out signals that may put his safety at risk. Around the
seventh week of the puppy goes through a phase of fear,
puppies will remain with their siblings at least until the
eighth week until that phase of fears is passed. The
puppies will have meet plenty of cats and dogs as well as
a variety of humans. They will have had the opportunity to play in the stimulation play pen
where they will be put in contact with different textures, smells and sounds. They will have
been extensively handled and fed by hand so that the contact with people is representative
of positive experience and will receive special attention according to their temperament.

It is with their new guardians that they will discover the world. They will learn a completely
new system of codes and communication, that of humans. Imagine your puppy as a visitors
from another planet asking you for help to guide him through this unknown and strange
world, that is exactly how a puppy newly separated from his family feels like, so be patient
and compassionate. When the puppy arrives in his new family the stopwatch starts
ticking… Here is a list of things that your puppy should be exposed before the sixteenth
week to become a confident dog in any situation. And do not forget that the experience
must be positive. All this may sound like a lot of work and it is but the reward of those 4
months of intensive attention and care will be rewarded with 15 years of life with a well
balanced dog.  Isn't worth it?


Encounters:
Babies, children, adolescents, men with beards, hats of all kinds, large objects in the arms;
elderly people, disabled in wheelchair, bicycle, motorcycle, inline skates, crowds, cars, all
types of animals that will be part of his entourage; cats, birds, horses, sheep, cows.

Texture and sound:
Walk on grass, asphalt, gravel, on a slippery surface, water, ride the elevator, escalators,
wak on an overpass. Baby crying, thunder, heavy rain, gun shot, airplane, fire detector,
rustle of plastic bags, opening an umbrella,

Experience:
Car ride, being gently restrained in our arms, claw being trimmed, ears being cleaned,
brushing, visit to the vet, being left some time with a friend, being alone, visit to the park,
school yards, shopping mall parking


5 fun ways to socialize your puppy:
The dog has an emotional memory, he does not remember the event but the emotion it
caused him, for example if every time he goes for a car ride, he end up at the veterinarian
and that the experience is not positive, he will soon hate going for a car ride. It is important
to realize that socializing a puppy is not only putting the animal in contact with new
situations but making all these experiences positive and fun. It is also important to maintain
socialization of our dogs throughout his whole lives. The dog is a born observer who
perceives our moods so for your experience of socialization to be effective you must be
confident and relaxed, have fun with your dog. After your 4 moths of socialization with you
dog have been completed do not forget to include your dog in your daily activities to
maintain his social skills. Here are some examples that could be improved with a little
imagination on your part.
NON SIGNIFICATIVE or
NÉGATIVE IMPACT
EXPERIENCE
POSITIVE IMPACT
Ignore the pup while taking your
coffee
Bring your puppy with you to an
outdoor cafe
Ask the waiter to drop a treat on
the floor when he comes by your
table
Pull on the leash to get puppy to
follow.
Bring your puppy near a busy
street
Bring a special toy or treat and
play with puppy while cars go by
Have a uhose full of people that
ignore the emotional state of
your pup
Through a party for your friend to
meet the new puppy
Ask each friend toplay with the
puppy with a new toy or treat
puppy
Meeting the mail man or men in
uniform
Invite the mail man to drop  
cookies on his way off your
property
Force puppy to accept to be  
petted by strangers
Visit to the mall
shoppers to give your pup a
cookie as they go by