The influences in the early life of a Golden puppy have a definite effect on his behavior as an adult dog. Although inheritance may predispose him to particularly behavioral traits, the environment plays a more vital role in his development and motivation. Therefore, a creative environment which includes exposure to unique stimuli is very important in order to prevent boredom as well as develop mental and physical abilities.
Golden puppies are naturally alert, bold and investigative at an early age. They should be exposed to novel shapes, sounds, and smells. If they learn to adjust to such things when young without fear, they will have the ability to adapt well to stressful conditions later in life which may test their stamina – such as the many distractions and traumas at a dog show.
Instead of sitting and sleeping all day, they are eager to explore and play with whatever is in their milieu. They are fascinated with objects that move and interesting spaces that can be explored.
If puppies do not have a constructive way to occupy their time, they will seek their own diversions to avoid boredom. Such activities may evolve into undesirable behavior when the dog is older, such as nuisance barking, destructive chewing and feces-eating.
A creative environment for growing puppies will stimulate them and encourage their interaction with one another and their playthings. A puppy pen, or existing run, with imagination, can become an exciting place, to develop a puppy’s full potential. It is possible to create an area which has many tantalizing stimulants to attract and amuse the Golden.
Large, boulder-type rocks can be used for climbing and cardboard boxes in various shapes and sizes are perfect for playhouses with holes in different sequences on the sides and top to stimulate curiosity. Pups will enjoy them thoroughly; they can drag them around, chew them and sleep within their confines! Gently sloping inclines are confidence builders and private spaces may be created underneath which are good for snuggling and sleeping. Large chimney flues when placed end to end, create tunnels to explore and also serve as rest areas. The creative possibilities are limitless!
Edibles become destructible toys! Carrots, potatoes, celery stalks and other raw vegetables provide good stimulation for teeth and gums and relieve during teething period. Citrus fruits make wonderful balls for rolling and batting and create a new taste sensation in the process.
Target orientation training may also begin at this time. This may be accomplished by suspending rubber chew rings and dumbbells at the ends of light ropes so they can hang about six inches off the ground and are free to swing in all directions. As soon as the puppies become aware of them, they will spend hours batting, chewing, pulling and amusing themselves until they fall back, exhausted!
Many forms of antisocial behavior result from lack of environmental stimulation during puppy hood. Boredom is one of the most destructive elements throughout a dog’s life and is easily overcome with some of the above techniques. Intelligent, well-adjusted dogs who have grown up in a creative environment will be more responsive, eager to learn and will also be great companions!