Puppy Culture

Throughout my blog I mention Puppy Culture protocols and exercises. Puppy Culture is a series of educational videos authored by Jane Killion, outlining the science pertaining to puppy development in the first 12 weeks of live, and its practical application in the form of enrichment protocols and emotional resiliency exercises for breeders and puppy owners. It is the best hands-on guide for puppy rearing available and it has grown to be a movement among breeders aiming at raising confident, enrichment seeking puppies.

The film follows a litter of Bull Terriers from right before birth to 12 weeks of life. As puppy development is evolving right before the viewers’ eyes, Jane explains what is happening and why, gives practical tips on puppy rearing week by week of their life and shows hands-on enrichment exercises. The movie includes multiple interviews with the experts: veterinarians, canine behaviorists, trainers and breeders.

My humble endorsement of Puppy Culture pales in comparison to an overwhelming positive response from experts and breeders around the world. Puppy Culture is recommended by American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior. Every breeder should watch the film.

Here is the link to Puppy Culture website.

Puppy Culture DVD

And here are the links to my blog posts illustrating Puppy Culture protocols

Manding: Giving Puppy A Voice

The reasons behind enrichment protocols

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3 Responses to Puppy Culture

  1. Angela Mosier says:

    I have been refreshing my puppy education in preparation for getting a new puppy next year thus have read a bit about puppy culture in recent days. It makes so much sense. I think of it as raising a puppy the same way we do our human babies. My one concern is how late can I start if the breeder doesn’t use puppy culture protocols. Is working the four weeks of the critical period enough?

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    • dignpop says:

      It’s important to clarify a gradient scale of social education. You have a socially damaged puppy raised in a stressful environment with human contact not bringing any positive experiences on one end (think a puppy mill), and a puppy raised with protocols like puppy culture on the other end of the scale. However, there is much in between. A puppy that had human contact and was raised by a well adjusted dam will not be irreversibly damaged the way pups from stressful environments are. It’s already a great start to be raised by a healthy, happy dam. If you add positive human contact, even without any protocols used, that’s enough socialization to have a good pet.

      The advantage of enriching early puppyhood with well timed protocols is that it shapes the dog to be its best social version. You teach very young pups with minimum effort compared to teaching the same skills later. You prepare a fertile ground for learning. Yet, there are millions of fabulous pets that never had puppy protocols done, so it’s not all or nothing.

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  2. Mary Dixon says:

    Long before Puppy Culture (R) (TM), I was using my own progressive, adventurous creativite puppy enrichment methods based on years of behavior study and assessment and modification (14 yrs and almost 300 dogs doing breed rescue for mostly all-juvenile [thus ‘naughty!’] Aus Cattle Dogs).
    I appreciate that someone has shed a bigger light on the fact that puppies aren’t merely more ‘sellable’ when they are raised to be confident and happy and socialized. But it’s not the first or only puppy socializing method that works- or matters. Be creative, be right there for them when they make mistakes, help them figure out ‘all the things.’ Expose them to all kinds of weirdness. Pots and pans on the floor. A box full of balls and toys. Pizza boxes. Wobble board. A cookie sheet with water in it (it’s only water!). Hire a duct cleaning company at about 6-7 weeks old (or other type of necessary maintenance) while you have them in a pen, watching and enjoying it! Have fun with your puppies and don’t let them raise themselves. You have to want to do behavior bombproofing for a “puppy genius” (what I call it). Some breeders just focus on raising them healthy enough but not ‘messing’ with them, teaching them about the world. Hopefully more people will start “throwing the book” at their puppies so they live better lives. Just wish I’d thought to capitalize on it back in the 1990’s when I started doing it!

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