Our breeding program here at Snickersdoodles will now be including Puppy Culture. Puppy Culture is a curriculum for both dog breeders and puppy owners alike, dedicated to raising stable, mentally sound dogs. Our current puppies, as well as future litters, will be raised using Puppy Culture's protocols such as manding, resource guarding prevention, and biosensory exercises.
We highly encourage our puppy owners, present and future, to learn more about Puppy Culture and the benefits of positive reinforcement training.
Are you a new puppy owner, ready to take the Puppy Culture journey? 30 lessons, 2 hours and 34 minutes - Get started HERE!
Instant wisdom - just add puppies.
We’ve been raising, training, rescuing, and breeding dogs for 33 years and we have good news for you. It’s much simpler and easier than you think to raise a puppy, if you do just the right thing at just the right time. But you need the wisdom to know what those things are, and when to do them. That’s why we made Puppy Culture - it’s your mentor-in-a-box!
Introduction to Socialization
“I’m kind of busy this week...Can’t we just do this next week?”
We’re going to say no.
Dogs will naturally mistrust anything new. If you don’t properly socialize your dog as a puppy, he may express that mistrust with aggression or fear to the point that you can’t take him anywhere with you. And its best to hustle when it comes to socialization - there’s a very short window when you have that magic touch to make a big difference with very little effort.
In this section, Dr. Meghan Herron, DVM walks you through what socialization really means, when it needs to take place, and what you can do if you missed the critical socialization window.
It’s a cultural understanding, not a cocktail party
While exposure to new things is great for puppies, it’s only one of seven key components to a well socialized dog. In this section, you’ll learn about these seven areas you need to cover in a good socialization program.
The Communication Trinity
What do puppies, human infants, and some autistic children have in common? Hint: They’d tell us if they could talk to us.
Did you know that the ability to communicate and control outcomes has been proven to reduce frustration, aggression, and improve mental function in animals and in humans?
In this fascinating first step of your new life with your puppy, you’ll learn how to give your puppy a voice by using “doggy sign language.” Once you see your puppy “talking” to you, you’ll never feel the same way about puppies and dogs again!
It’s easy, we promise.
Puppies will naturally potty train themselves, if you just have a tiny bit of patience and persistence. Learn how to plan, manage, and get out of the way so your puppy can house train himself!
Little Monsters - Problem Prevention and Solving
Ouch! What is WRONG with this puppy?
Nothing. Your biting, growling, barkin’, jumpin’ fool of a puppy is totally normal. But a “normal” puppy is not pre-programmed to behave the way we would like, so we have some work to do.
Love hurts. But you don’t have to stand in the line of fire.
We’ve been raising puppies for almost 35 years and we can make you two iron-clad promises:
1. Your puppy is not biting you or your children because he’s dominant. He’s biting you because that’s what puppies do. Every one of them, since the beginning of time.
2. If you follow our simple instructions, you and your kids won’t get hurt and the puppy will grow out of the biting. Really, hand to our hearts, we swear.
My little angel would never growl at me...would he?
Yes, I’m afraid he would. Resource guarding often does not emerge until the puppy is closer to 18 months old. The sad thing is that resource guarding is virtually 100% preventable with some ridiculously easy early interventions, but owners don’t do them because their puppy is “so sweet.”
You need to do these super easy and quick protocols NOW with your cute bundle of fur, while he’s still little and cute.
Wouldn’t my puppy learn faster if I tell him when he’s wrong?
Oddly enough, the research says no. Dr. Meghan Herron, DVM, tells us about the results of her research into the use of reinforcement vs confrontational training methods and the results may surprise you!
8-9 Weeks Old
I can’t wait for everyone to meet my new puppy!
In this section you’ll receive our four part essential socialization plan for new puppy owners.
8-9 weeks of age can be an extra sensitive time for puppies - something we call a fear imprint period. We demonstrate how to deal with your puppy’s natural fear periods and give you Puppy Culture guidelines to keep your puppy comfortable and safe!
Practical Skills Training
Time for some social graces...
In order for you to be able to get your puppy out and enjoy a rich socialization experience, you’re going to need a few handy behaviors:
How to become a puppy magnet
Be kind to your dog and keep your sanity
Ask and ye shall receive. And everyone’s happier
Because it’s fun to go places with your dog
10-12 Weeks Old
Does this really all have to happen now?
In this section, we give you a plan for these very important last two weeks in the critical socialization period. You’ll learn how to set up good socialization sessions with outside dogs, make sure you’re covering all the bases with your socialization program, balance exercise and rest for calmer puppies, and finally, how to take all the skills on the road and do cross-training trips!
But what if your got your puppy after 12 weeks old?
No worries, you can still do all the same things with your puppy it just may take more exposures to get the same result, and you may have to do more training. But you can still use our socialization and enrichment program for your puppy!
Vaccinations vs Socialization
The danger may not lie where you think it does
Is it safe to take your puppy out to be socialized before he receives all his shots? Drs Kenneth Leal, DVM, and Meghan Herron, DVM explain in simple terms how vaccines work. You learn what the real risks and benefits are of taking your puppy out in the world to be socialized before he’s finished with his puppy shots, and how and when you can socialize your puppy safely.
Does it really matter where I take my puppy for puppy class?
Yes, it matters so much that we wish every person who is even thinking of a puppy would watch this section before they get a puppy, so they have time to shop for a suitable puppy class.
A good puppy class is the cornerstone of your puppy’s socialization, but a bad puppy class can scar your puppy for life. In this Dr. Terri Bright, Director of Behavioral Services at the MSPCA Boston gives you a 12 point checklist that you can use to find a good puppy class for your puppy.
What if I can’t find a good class near me?
No worries, just say “no” to bad puppy classes and do it yourself! Dr. Bright tells you how to select appropriate playmates for your puppy and set up your own puppy play and learn sessions.
Can you guarantee my puppy will grow up to the dog I dreamed of?
In this closing section, we explore how early socialization ties in to the road ahead and what you can expect in the coming years.
To Do Lists
How can you expect me to remember all of this?
We present a lot of material in Puppy Culture and all those cute little puppies can be very distracting, so we give you a fourth “Recap” disc that outlines lists and even more detailed explanations for everything you should be doing on a week by week basis.
The Puppy Culture Proposition - Frequently Asked Questions
We get so many people with older puppies asking us if Puppy Culture can help them, that we compiled an "Puppy Culture Essentials" play list for puppy buyers, together with these FAQs:
"My puppy is only 8 weeks old (or younger) - is Puppy Culture for me?"
Not only is Puppy Culture for you, there’s a special advantage to starting early with puppies. You’ll see in the film that many of the lessons are demonstrated by puppies as young as 4 weeks old, because puppies learn certain things fastest and most easily in the first 12 weeks of life.
"My puppy is older than 12 weeks - is Puppy Culture for me?"
The science based training and protocols in Puppy Culture puppy owner’s playlist are perfect for puppies of all ages, and it’s never too late to get off on the right foot!
"Why are some of the lessons demonstrated by 4 week old puppies - are these lessons are only for small puppies?"
The exercises in your playlist are for puppies of all ages. The reason you see very small puppies demonstrating things is that, as breeders, we introduce things much earlier than you have an opportunity to. But the process is the same, whether your puppy is 4 weeks old or 6 months old.
"How long is the Puppy Culture Essentials Playlist?"
The Puppy Culture Essentials playlist is 30 lessons, for a total run time of 2 hours and 34 minutes. In addition, we’ve provided a fourth “recap” disc, that gives you an approximately 45 minute summary of the lessons in a list format, with additional details and instructions.
"I notice that there’s an additional hour of material in the film that’s not in the Essentials Playlist. Can I just buy the Essentials?"
Puppy Culture is presented in a unique “teachumentary” format. We filmed one litter as we raised and trained them, and then followed up with those puppies over the next three years so you could see the incredible long-term results. Rather than creating two entirely separate films of the same process - one for puppy owners and one for breeders, we released one film in context, and priced it inexpensively so that it would be a great value for puppy owners.
You can choose to watch or not to watch the additional chapters that are not included in the Essentials Playlist - either way it’s a superb value!
The only complaint that we’ve gotten from puppy owners is that they like the entire film so much that they “binge-watch” it and can’t stop!
"Are there other breeders/rescue fosters who raise puppies with the Puppy Culture program?"
Yes! If you have the good fortune to be buying or rescuing a puppy from a Puppy Culture breeder or rescue/foster home, you’re in luck. A great foundation has already been laid in for your puppy, and now you just have to follow through with what he’s already learned. We’re going to be developing a list of Puppy Culture breeders but, in the meantime, email us privately for suggestions for Puppy Culture breeders or foster homes -
"But what if my puppy wasn’t raised by a Puppy Culture breeder/rescue foster? Can I still use Puppy Culture to raise my puppy?"
Even if your puppy did not come from such a luxuriously advantaged background, you’re still in luck. The research shows that puppies can still enjoy huge neurological and emotional benefits from the protocols in the Puppy Culture program, even into adulthood.