Photo courtesy of Judy Casper.
Early socialization is very important. Exposure to as many situations, people, sights, sounds and experiences helps ensure the puppy will grow up to be a well rounded, stable adult dog Puppy kindergarten is the fi rst good place to start. Also inviting visitors over regularly, and taking the puppy to as many places as allows (stores, shopping centers, etc). Taking the puppy for short walks to meet the neighbors and others on the street is also good beginning training for your new puppy. One of the wonderful traits this breed possesses is that what you teach them they remember. Th ey are not a dog that needs repetition or refresher courses. Th is is true for commands and behavior.
Th ere is a good story that proves that trait. A girl had a service dog for her MS and the dog was getting on in years and she thought she should fi nd another pup- py to bring home to start training to be her new service dog. She would have the old Bouvier train him, at the same time the owner would take him to training to teach him the tasks he would need to do to carry on when the old girl could no longer do her job or was gone. Th e puppy took to the training right away and seemed like he was going to be a good candidate to take over when the time was right. Th e trainers were very impressed with how quickly the puppy picked up on all his jobs. However, shortly after going through quite a bit of training the owner of the dog noticed that
the young dog was not following through at home. After awhile, they thought that maybe the dog would not be a good ser- vice dog after all. Th en the old girl had a back problem and at 14 years old had back surgery and had a bit of di ffi culty at fi rst recovering but then made a full recovery and continued her job until she could no longer do it and she past away. Th e young dog was there when she passed and he returned home and immediately took over as the service dog they originally thought he could be. Everyone decided he did not want to take over the old dogs job until it was necessary. But, he never forgot his commands and when he needed to do them he was right there willing and able to carry through.
“One of the wonderful traits this breed possesses IS THAT WHAT YOU TEACH THEM THEY REMEMBER.”
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