Are you considering purchasing a puppy from a reputable Shih Tzu breeder anytime soon? If the answer is yes, then this blog post is a must read for you! I know it is easy to pick up your computer and start the search for available Shih Tzu puppies in your area. But, what if I were to tell you that not all Shih Tzu breeders raise their Shih Tzu puppies in the same fashion. Did you know that puppies that aren’t exposed to proper movement are more likely to be fearful of things that move when they get older?
Helping puppies feel comfortable around movement is an important part of proper puppy socialization. A lot of people looking for a Shih Tzu puppy for sale don’t realize that the most sensitive period in a puppy’s development happens during weeks 3 to 12. Most responsible Shih Tzu breeders have the puppies under their care during most of this time frame. A a result, it is imperative that the Shih Tzu breeder expose the puppies to proper movement protocols to instill confidence and resilience in the impressionable Shih Tzu puppies. In my responsible Shih Tzu Breeding Program all of the puppies are exposed to various forms of movement to help create bulletproof puppies.
The list below goes over some of the forms of movement my puppies are exposed to before go home day.
- Moving toy cars
- Toys that move
- Wobble board
- Wobble disc
- Running humans
- Running dogs
- Vacuum cleaner
- Car ride
- Stroller ride
It is a common issue for toy breed dogs to be fearful of certain things such as sound, sights and movement. Fear is a necessary defense mechanism that has a place but sometimes goes into overdrive in our furry companions. Fears and phobia can develop when a puppy or dog has a negative experience. It often only takes one bad experience for a dog to develop a phobia.
Fear can also develop in dogs if they don’t spend time around things that move when they’re going through the critical socialization period. Fear is at an all time low during this developmental stage. Shih Tzu breeders have the opportunity to imprint a positive association with movement during this critical phase of puppy development.
Having a dog that is afraid of movement can be very stressful to the dog and the owner. Treating fear in an adult dog is much more time consuming. After the critical developmental period ends it often takes a lot longer to counter-condition any fear-based behaviors. There are trainers that can help but it often takes much longer to see results. Early desensitization is key in preventing fearful behaviors in the first place. Something as simple as running a vacuum cleaner near the puppy playpen a couple times a week during the critical socialization period may have a positive life long influence on a puppy’s future behavioral health.