A recent position statement by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior has validated what I’ve felt for a long time; “Behavior issues, not infectious diseases, are the number one cause of death for dogs under three years of age.”
The AVSAB has stated that the most important time for socializing a puppy is the first three months of life. We have known this for some time. In fact, early puppy training has been a part of That’s My Dog’s philosophy since 1994 when we started the first puppy preschool program in the Dubuque, Iowa area.
It was my conviction that early education for puppies and their owners played a key role in keeping dogs in their homes for a lifetime. But the idea of classes for puppies between 7 and 16 weeks of age met with resistance due to concerns surrounding incomplete vaccination histories. It is nice to have the back up of the AVSAB saying that “the combination of maternal immunity, primary vaccination and appropriate care makes the risk of infection relatively small compared to the chance of death from a behavior problem.”
So now that we’ve been validated, I guess we will just keep on doing what we’ve been doing for the last 15 years. 🙂 Check our calendar for the next puppy preschool session.
More puppy training tips in upcoming blogs.
Read the entire AVSAB position statement here.