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Quick Intros All Round

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

Did you know that we run a short (15-30 min) intro process for each new dog. Typically it is very quick and owners can see how their pup likes the place and the environment and how pups are interacting.

What do we do?

We ask all new pups to spend an short time in our middle yard where they can see and (more importantly) smell the place. They will also most likely meet a small number of pups during this time. We try to have some friendly pups meet them (both young and old) so its a place they know pups can be happy. We observe interactions and look for the presence of appropriate interactions and the management of fight/flight responses. Depending on age we also look at level of recall and obedience. Name recognition is tested here too but we aren't expecting too much given everything is new (including us). Sometimes we ask owners to stand outside the property if we feel there may be a desire for a pup to protect "their human".

What we try to avoid.

Days that are very busy can result in a lot of barking at the new pup - this can be anxiety provoking and we try to avoid that. Also rainy days (particularly stormy days) can be unpleasant for pups and we want to avoid the negative association if we can.

Why we do it?

Whilst there is always a risk for pups in any setting, we run these introduction processes as they substantially reduce risk of injury between pups. Its always nice to know that your pup can get along with others when something important is happening (e.g., treats).

3 main reasons for running introductions:

  1. Familiarity. It can be scary for a pup to come to somewhere new and it can be even more daunting when there are lots of new dogs running around. The intro will mean that your pup is that much more familiar with us all.

  2. Pro-Pack Behaviours. So we know your pup has the right behaviours to join a larger group (pro-pack behaviours) and the pup will, in turn, be more likely to be accepted by the pack.

  3. Lack of Aggression/Fear. There are many types of patterns of aggression/fear - boundary, toy, food, proximity, protective, etc. The main ones we are looking for here are those associated with dog-dog interactions (particularly dominance related aggression) and dog-human interactions (namely hackles raised, stalking, showing teeth and growling toward humans, we also include here patterned fear responses - e.g., running from humans - tail between legs). We need to know that these things are not likely to be an issue.

Remember this is about finding fit and not pass/fail.

Of course not all pups are comfortable in every setting. Its important to see that your pup likes it here. If they don't then that is not a "failure". Rather it means that your search must continue. For example, sometimes the introduction process will reveal a pattern or preference for interaction that we may not be able to cater for. We may or may not be able to accommodate a pups preferences at all times. One thing is sure and that is we want pups to be able to have fun and explore - these introductions we run are essential to getting pups integrated with others as quickly as possible. One common additional benefit of this process is we get to see what types of things your pup likes to do and we are able to ensure more exposure to those things be it play, exploring, interaction, cuddles, toys, or pelting round the grounds at top speed.

Fit is important - not all pups want to be at the same table.

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