Polaris is a rescue puppy. She’s only five weeks old, too young, really, to be away from her mother and littermates, but her litter was “overdue” to be destroyed at the overly-crowded shelter.
I’ve been reading on the internet about puppy developmental stages, and what I’m reading concerns me a little. This site says,
This one is even more alarming:
How can I help Polaris learn how to be a puppy, and how to interact with other dogs? My adult dog is no help: she’s still afraid of the puppy and barks at her whenever the puppy ventures too close. I’ve considered getting down on the floor and aping the “play” posture of a dog so that perhaps she can learn what that looks like, but what could I do about biting? She’s been trying to gnaw on me, which I do not allow, simply because I’ve always been told not to allow puppies to acquire habits you wouldn’t want in an adult dog.
Secondly, how firm should I be in training her at this point? When I put her in her crate she sometimes cries piteously. I’m of two minds: some of the dog books say to ignore it, else she’ll get the idea that I’m at her beck and call, but she’s still a baby. Is she actually old enough to learn anything from being left in the crate when she cries, or is it just cruel? (I’m thinking that being left alone doesn’t really teach a human infant anything.)
When she gnaws on me, I say firmly, “No!” and put her chew toy in her mouth, but she goes right back to it. Is she too young to understand my vocalization? One of my dog books says to give them a gentle shake when they do something wrong-- is this correct?
Can she be trained at all at this point? I’ve been experimenting a little with it. When I take her outside, I wait until she sits down before I pick her up to take her back in. She seems to be catching on to the idea, but I’m not sure that she’s actually learning, or if she just eventually sits because she’s tired and it’s all a coincidence.
So, any advice those of you who’ve gone through this can give me woulf be most welcome. I want to try to give Polaris as much help as I can to be a well-developed and well-socialized dog.