Why it is good to take dogs out to see the world when they are puppies

That phrase should become “do not take your puppy to step on the sidewalk”, but do it in a backpack for dogs, in a “changuito”, in a shopping cart, upa, in a car, etc (Gettyimages)

There is a premise that many professionals uphold when a puppy is in vaccination periodgenerally before four months of age, which consists of saying exhaustively “Don’t take your puppy out on the street.”

That phrase should be transformed into “do not take your puppy to step on the sidewalk”but do it in a dog backpack, in a “changuito”, in a shopping cart, in a car, etc.. And do it as a daily habit by exposing it to speakers, lights, cars, buses, trains, different environments and people.

Going out into the world and meeting it as a puppy does not necessarily mean stepping on the urban sidewalk that can spread diseases.

Going out into the world and meeting it as a puppy does not necessarily mean stepping on the urban sidewalk that can spread diseases (Gettyimages)
Going out into the world and meeting it as a puppy does not necessarily mean stepping on the urban sidewalk that can spread diseases (Gettyimages)

The important thing is to achieve, in the sensitive stage of the animal called imprinting, punching or printing, to get used to different stimuli that will not generate fears in adulthoodachieving a safe and balanced animal, with a pleasant coexistence.

Fear, manifested in a moderate way, is a beneficial and positive sensation that allows us to be alert in the face of a threat; but when it becomes a sensation or feeling that governs life, it stops having positive effects to become what is called an allostatic load of stress that increases our circulating cortisol with all the adverse effects that this entails..

Fear, manifested in a moderate way, is a beneficial and positive sensation that allows us to be alert in the face of a threat;  but when it becomes a sensation or feeling that governs life
Fear, manifested in a moderate way, is a beneficial and positive sensation that allows us to be alert in the face of a threat; but when it becomes a sensation or feeling that governs life

Urban companion animals are more sensitive to fear than others.

Undoubtedly, the fact that they suffer from an excess of fear is explained by the lack of adequate socialization in a timely manner, and by a greater perception of the environment that animals have through their senses.

Between sixty days and four months of age it is essential to socialize the animal by making it familiar with the environment and offering it a variety of stimuli.

Between sixty days and four months of age it is essential to socialize the animal by making it familiar with the environment and offering it a variety of stimuli (Photo: Composition)
Between sixty days and four months of age it is essential to socialize the animal by making it familiar with the environment and offering it a variety of stimuli (Photo: Composition)

Overprotection and poor advice confines the dog home until an age where the sensitive stage is over and any behavior modification is complex to implement in the future.

It is necessary to balance protection against infectious somatic diseases with cognitive maturation the latter being a fundamental factor of vital balance.

This attitude of keeping the puppy in isolation threatens its normal emotional and cognitive development.

It is necessary to balance protection against infectious somatic diseases with cognitive maturation. Photo: Christiane Oelrich/dpa
It is necessary to balance protection against infectious somatic diseases with cognitive maturation. Photo: Christiane Oelrich/dpa

Tips for dogs to develop emotionally on walks

The dog is a “natural rabble” and when he goes out to explore his immediate environment “he is reading the newspaper” or “knowing the news of the day”. Through the olfactory images she perceives in her outings the activity of her peers in the neighborhood, who passed by and who was there. That information and stimulates their cognitive capacity and their emotional development.

It is essential to understand that the walk is not just a hygienic walk to prevent canine necessities from being deposited at home, but rather it is an emotional need that takes time and must be respected.

The walk is not just a hygienic walk, but it is about an emotional need (iStock)
The walk is not just a hygienic walk, but it is about an emotional need (iStock)

In the case of puppies, it is very likely that some professional will advise us not to take them out on the street as they are not protected by a complete vaccination plan. This is true and very important, as it is about your protection against physical illness, but the outings mark their maturation and above all their future relationship with their environment. That is why we can and must take it out on the street, even if it never steps on the sidewalk.

Once he has completed his vaccinations and can walk by our side, the first walks must be taken very calmly and patiently since we must support him emotionally. so that he is not scared of his new reality and can gradually assimilate it. He must learn to walk at our pace, to socialize with the rest of the dogs, to relieve himself outside.

The animal is not going to learn all this in a single day. Until he learns all these things, The recommended thing is to take the animal out on the street as many times as our times allow.

Daily walks are a wonderful opportunity to enjoy quality time together
Daily walks are a wonderful opportunity to enjoy quality time together

About how often dogs need to go for a walk, there is no exact figure; but what is recommended for it to grow healthy and happy is between two and four times a day with a duration between twenty minutes and half an hour each.

Daily walks are a wonderful opportunity to enjoy quality time together. This time is extremely important for the development of your dog’s behavior and will lay the foundation for a relationship of trust.

If you go out to play in the park and there are other dogs and other people, your dog will associate them with something good, which will help make him a more social and less aggressive dog. Otherwise, the dog will be fearful, cowardly, and may attack depending on the fact that everything is considered a challenge. Playing is also a great way to learn more about your dog. watch it well when they play together and you will be able to discover many things about him.

*Prof. Dr. Juan Enrique Romero @drromerook is a veterinarian. Specialist in University Education. Master in Psychoimmunoneuroendocrinology. Former Director of the School Hospital for Small Animals (UNLPam). University Professor in several Argentine universities. International speaker.

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