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Here is Violet at 8 weeks, and with a shaved face. I think she looks lovely. When this picture showed up on my phone I'll admit I got a little teary-eyed. Astute viewers will see she is in a bed decorated with- violets!! :dance2:



One week from today, after a night in the sleep study lab (and probably still with glue in my hair), I am hopping in my car and zooming away to pick her up. Husband will be driving.

Yesterday I rearranged my living room and set up her puppy palace. Thank you to Twyla, I pretty much copied what you did for Leonard. Navy was very concerned about all this rearranging. He gave me a lot of quizzical looks, and marched around in the palace doing an inspection. He decided he did not want to stay in there himself, but it would be fine for a puppy.

Next Saturday I'll set up her crate on a table in my bedroom so we can sleep eye-to-eye. I'll also set up her x-pen in the backyard where we will undoubtedly be making hasty, sleepy trips in the dead of night to tinkle. Lots of other x-pen trips, too, but the nighttime trips loom large for me.

I have recently discovered that both my breeder and my husband are concerned about my taking a puppy without complete vaccinations to puppy class. I did not expect this to be an issue, so now I'm flummoxed. Any advice, PF? Her first vet visit will be the day after I get her, and I will of course discuss this with my vet (who has a mini poo herself).

Violet will be nine weeks old when she gets home, so I will have three weeks of her critical socialization period that I'm responsible for. I have LOTS of plans for this time, but three weeks is an incredibly short period to cram in all of things I have ever seen recommended. I expect to be very busy! But also, I just don't see how it is possible to cover everything that I've seen recommended. How to prioritize what to do everyday (grooming desensitization, potty/manners training, exposure to novel things) and what is okay to do once (exposure to skateboards, for example) and consider it good enough.

Could I be anymore excited? I DON'T THINK SO! :elephant:
 

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Congratulations on your 'Gotcha Day'! Puppyhood is a lot of fun and a lot of WORK LOL! Here is a chart that tells you when to introduce everything! Just remember that you don't need specific times to do these in....every minute of every day can be be a 'socializing' opportunity! One of the things I did was go to my little strip mall close to my house , got a cup of Starbucks , and we sat on a bench and I exposed my baby to all the noise and excitement going on around us........as soon as I finished my Starbucks we went home!



 
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She is just beautiful!

Socialization trumps full vaccinations *IMHO*. I took both of mine to puppy socials/class after the second vaccination. I also took them everywhere with me in the stroller after the first vacc. If I had waited until after the third vacc, the socialization window would have already been closed. My dogs are extremely well socialized and a pleasure to take anywhere.
 

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I don't remember if you said which breeder she's coming from but it's likely they've been doing socialization experiences also. Ask them to let you know what they've done already (not to say reinforcement isn't in the picture too).

I'm going to fly a bit in the face of conventional wisdom here. Recently a member posted a different perspective on socializing experiences. It makes some sense to me, and looking back over my boys early weeks with me, I realized that I was inadvertently combining both schools.

The unconventional thought is to focus on working with your pup to build and trust the bond with you rather than simply going thru a checklist. You don't hide them away, you still do your job by widening their horizons but think of the checklists as guidelines. Take all the opportunities that are present in daily life and that will come up pretty commonly but if you don't tick every box, you've also built that trust. The two together make for a confident pup.

If you think about it, parents can't possibly expose their children to every new experience in a controlled environment so it stands to reason that it can't be done with a puppy either. You'll introduce new experiences to your puppy and help them learn not only to accept things but to trust you to have their back when something totally unexpected comes up that wasn't on a checklist.
 

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Molly, thank you! It’s great to have a list to jog my memory about all the things that a dog should get comfortable with.

MF, I love your stroller idea. I don’t have one, but I do have a sling that should work well. I live near an elementary and a middle school, so I should be able to get her introduced to children.

Rose n Poos, I like how you think. Building trust and a strong relationship with Violet should help tremendously when the unexpected scary thing comes up. I hope to teach her I am the kind of person she can put her trust in.

Thank you all for your support, and for being excited along with me. Six more days!
 

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I am not surprised you can't wait - she is an absolute darling!

I am with Rose n Poos on socialising - no matter how hard you try, something new will pop up, but if you have worked on trust and resilience it is easily overcome. Who knew Sophy would be spooked by cows in trees (cows walking along the sky line behind the bare branches), humans moving without legs (people walking in a sunken path), or, worst of all, a human with two heads!! The last, which had her bug eyed and shouting, was her first experience of a toddler being carried in a backpack... But she had excellent bounce back, and trusted me enough to believe me when I investigated, and assured her these things were not dangerous. Now they barely merit a second glance.
 

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Violet is gorgeous. I can feel your excitement,and can’t wait for you to post photos when you get her home.
 
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FJM, thank you for sharing your funny unexpected scares. It just shows that not everything can be anticipated. I would like her to be well socialized generally with all kinds of people, and to be able to be groomed without a lot of fuss. I do have faith in her coming to me with a great temperament to start with, and I am accepting that none of us are perfect. I certainly am not expecting any unassailable mountains when it comes to behavior/temperament. Perhaps we take too much on ourselves to think we can prevent every poor behavior, and focusing on the relationship and resilience will take us further.

Skylar, thank you. Have I mentioned my biggest pre-puppy purchase? A new iPhone so I can get photos of my black girl. I love photos. I will not be deterred by the difficulty of photographing a black dog! I laughed instead of cried when Violet's 7-week photo arrived: she was on a black blanket next to her two black siblings...
 

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Congratulations on your upcoming gotcha day! Violet is certainly a beautiful girl. I am for socialization. I did not do enough of this with Renn. He would be much better had I taken the time to expose him to more stimuli and different environments. He has a solid temperament (from his breeding) but I think he would act much better had I exposed him more. Now the he is big is is more difficult to do. He was such a wild boy as a puppy looking back I avoided doing certaint hings because of it and I should not have. The one thing I did do right was to take him to his groomer right on, just to expose him. She only keeps them an hour so he didn't interact with other dogs and she is good about being use all are vaccinated. I would avoid heavily traveled dog areas but I would take him for walks on the pavement in your neighborhood and take him to all the stores and places you can even if you carry him or put him in a cart. I would let lots of people come up to him slowly and pet him. I'm no pro but if I ever get another that is what I will do. I do think if Renn get a brother or sister it will be a rescue though. I see so many in our rea come through , lots are fairly young too as many give up on training before they get there.
 

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MF, I love your stroller idea. I don’t have one, but I do have a sling that should work well. I live near an elementary and a middle school, so I should be able to get her introduced to children.
The advantage that the stroller has is that the pup is not attached to your body, so it gives them a little more independence, as a separate being from you. I also don't like people touching my dog when the dog is restrained and can't show body signals/get away if they want. I'm a huge stroller fan.
 

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Congratulations! What a pretty puppy. I can see why you're over the moon excited.
 
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