Right now, Nyx is probably between 13 and 15 weeks old.
She has had a terrible start to life, and a puppy’s optimum period of socialisation end at around 14-16 weeks old.
Because we found Nyx (and she wasn’t microchipped) we assume she isn’t vaccinated, so that is something we are getting done.
However, we simply cannot miss out on socialising her as much as possible.
Nyx has had a traumatic start in life, she has probably missed out on all socialisation, and she is a shy dog to boot. We need to get her out into the world and introduce her to as many things as possible – not necessarily get her to interact with things, but to be calm and comfortable around them.
This is why we have been carrying her around everywhere.
I know a lot of places (vets especially) say you should never take an unvaccinated puppy outside, some vets even say they shouldn’t even go into your garden!! I am of the mindset (along with the majority of well received dog trainers) that it can be far more deadly for a puppy to miss out on all socialisation, than take them out when they aren’t fully vaccinated.
I would rather risk taking her out now (and it is a small risk) than wait several more weeks to take her out, where she would probably already be terrified of everything, and the socialisation window would be well and truly closed.
Alongside carrying her everywhere (and it is like carrying a bag of rocks that occasionally wriggles, I have no idea how she manages to be so heavy!) we also went to the pub today, and sat with her on the ground.
The pub has a play area directly to the side of it, so Nyx got to watch a lot of young children.
The first time she saw a child she was quite anxious, even though they were very far away, but with continued exposure and treats she is becoming less bothered by them. We walked through the park, watching the kids and feeding Nyx meat, and she did so well.
I was pretty annoyed in that some absolute moron let their toddler walk right up to us from the other end of the park – I fed Nyxie treats for watching the 2 year old approach, waiting for the dad to call the little girl…he didn’t. I picked Nyxie up when the kid was about 10ft away and we walked off as I fed her treats. Moron, this is why dog bites happen…
Then we walked around the play park and into the pub car park, where we sat at a picnic bench and let Nyx play with toys.
She watched lots of people pass by, she could still hear kids screaming and playing just over the wall, and it got her used to staying in the same place on a walk too.
She did really, really well. With everything.
We sat there about 15 minutes and helped keep her busy, then gathered our things and headed home.
It does kinda scare me that she’s showing such nervousness when she’s still so young, but I think with consistent gentle exposure we can get her to be calm with things, if not confident and wanting to interact with them.
It’s actually my partner’s and Kasper’s birthdays tomorrow, but obviously because of Nyx we can’t really go out and do anything, nor can we buy gifts because we don’t have money!!
My partner’s lucky in that I ordered the vast majority of his gifts pre-Nyx, so he has presents, but Kasper has nothing but a new bed we ordered a few days before we found Nyx hahaha.
Oh well, I’m sure he won’t mind 🙂
Tomorrow we’re going to possibly go out for an uber quick meal with my partner’s family (Nyx was in her crate over an hour today whilst we were in another part of the house, so I think we could manage it) and then our friend is probably going to come over and meet her too, so we can spend time with him.
He’s not the greatest with dogs, but we will be giving him strict instructions (he *is* good at following what you say, if you explain it clearly).
This will be Nyx’s first time meeting a stranger and getting to spend a decent amount of time with them, so it will be interesting to see how she does.