How to Create a Better Dog

While the experiences your dog has throughout his/her life has the power to shape the dog she becomes, this is especially true in her first sixteen weeks of life. When you get your puppy home, and you judge that she has made the big transition to a member of your pack (family), it is time to give puppy many experiences that will create the most socialable, confident dog you can.

Girl holding Goldendoodle puppy.

Some examples are:

Car Rides

Short, positive care rides, with extra support from a family member, if possible. Treats for doing well. Going fun places like the park after a car ride all help to make riding in the car enjoyable. All these tips help to create a dog that likes riding in the car.

Meeting Other Dogs

You want a dog that is confident and accepting of many other dogs. But, take caution with introductions. Ask your vet when it is safe to meet other dogs outside the family. My vet has assured me that puppies are safe to meet unknown dogs after their second set of vaccines. But, please get your vet’s guidance on this.

Also, please use caution with introducing your puppy to other dogs. You may get an unexpected reaction from the other dog. Our dog Cooper is still timid with other dogs because of his experience with an aggressive dog when he was a puppy. Other puppies are the most likely to be good playmates. Puppy social groups are great for introducing your puppy to other puppies.


If you have ever seen a dog react to a particular person, you know people are not one and the same to your dog. Therefore, give him plenty of chances to meet all kinds of people and you will raise a puppy that accepts a variety of people.

Walks in Your neighbourhood

There is lots of value in exploring your neighbourhood with your puppy. Cars, people, bicycles, skateboards…These are all new to puppy and exposure to them during the critical period can help him overcome any fear he may have.

Walking on a Variety of Surfaces

The Puppy Culture Program reinforces the importance of giving puppy a variety of walking surfaces in the first sixteen weeks. Grass, sand, gravel, pavement.

If you consider your developing puppy’s critical period for exposure to new and novel people, animals and experiences, you will help your puppy be the best pet she can be.

Karen Moore