Proper socialization is important for puppies. Shar-Pei are very social creatures.
It is very important to help them bond with other people rather than canines. They
need to learn to be comfortable and happy around people and other animals.
At no time is socialization a bigger issue than when bringing a new puppy into the
home. This can be a little unsettling for everyone involved, especially the other
animals that may already be there. Read on for some tips and things you should know
to make the arrival of a new Shar-Pei puppy the best experience possible.
The first thing to understand is that a dog's genetics set a limit on how well-socialized
it can become. Early handling and learning to trust are important, but genetics
are more important. The Baggins bloodline produces exceptionally tame and happy
dogs. This is a result of carefully screening for temperament over 30 years of breeding.
They are good with animals both small and large. They adapt very well to living
with other animals. Some other dogs have a genetic predisposition for mean or aggressive
behavior and no amount of socialization will eliminate this.
Puppies are handled daily from birth by myself and my three grandchildren. The puppies
learn very early to trust and like everybody. When all their experiences with people
are good, they learn to expect that. It is important to help them bond with other
people rather than canines. When they are being weaned, I hand feed them. They lick
a mixture of gerber rice cereal and goat's milk from my fingers. They do not mingle
with other animals until they are four months old and have completed all their puppy
shots. At that point they begin to go to training classes, travel in cars, etc.
Shar-Pei from the Baggins bloodline need to be part of a family as inside house
dogs. They want to be with their people. They are very low-key and tolerant with
adults, children and other animals. They have good guarding instincts: letting you
know when someone approaches the door. A puppy's age when it moves in with it's
new family is not as important as many people believe. Sometimes puppies that are
candidates for showing are held for observation for 6-7 months. When these dogs
go to a new family, they have no problems bonding with them.
When you get a new puppy home, it will be so curious about new surroundings that
it will tend to ignore its food, so for the first day or two, you may need to add
something to entice the puppy to eat (such as cooked chicken) until you get the
puppy back on a normal schedule of three meals a day. At 16 weeks, you can go to
two times a day if you prefer.
Joining the Pack
I have not had any problems with puppies not being accepted by the resident dogs,
but there will be an adjustment period. This reshuffling of their social order usually
only lasts a few days.
If there is an existing dog in the home, that dog should be the top dog in the home.
Do not scold the older dog or try to make it become submissive. The puppy should
learn from the beginning that the older dog is at the top of the pecking order.
Most Baggins puppies will not care and will not vie for the top spot. Chaperone
the puppy with the other dog at first. Let the top dog set the limits for the puppy.
It's OK to allow it to growl and intimidate, just protect the puppy from physical
harm. Giving the older dog lots of attention and the freedom to be assertive with
the puppy will help it to relax and accept the new member of its pack.
Sometimes the older dog will act indifferent to the puppy and even with the family
for 3 or 4 days, as if it is mad at the family. By the end of that period the older
dog will usually accept the puppy and realize it is not a threat.
It is always safest to have opposite sexes, but I have many homes that have two
or more males living together. In these cases I always advise that the males be
neutered in order to avoid struggles over male dominance.
Crates and Confinement
Crates may seem like cruel torture devices to humans, but they are comfortable havens
for puppies. Don't be afraid to confine your new puppy in a crate occasionally.
They will play hard for a while and then will need to sleep, much like infants.
A crate is a great place for this. Crating can also help the settling in process
by giving older dogs a much needed break from the stress of a high energy puppy.
I do not have cats, but many of the homes I send puppies to do (including my sons).
I have never had a puppy returned because of an issue with cats.
If you have any questions or concerns about how your Baggins Puppy is fitting in,
please don't hesitate to call me.
Last updated on 11/17/2010