Be the dog mother on Frankie’s first day.
Many puppies are overwhelmed by the amount of attention they receive once they arrive in their new homes. When they are with their mother and litter mates, the dog mother would make sure the puppies are advocated for; she will make sure they have their privacy and down time so they can feel safe. However, very often, once the puppy arrives in the human’s home, everyone comes to fuss around the puppy, they give the puppy lots of attention but no one takes up the role of being the puppy’s advocate. Many puppies are being fussed around all day long because they are so cute and their humans think this is how they should express their love to this new family member. They feel bad, almost guilty, about ignoring the puppies. This is not natural and can easily creat a puppy who feels insecure and anxious. “Where is my dog mother?” “Who is here to make sure my privacy and personal bubble is respected?” “Who can l turn to if l feel overwhelmed or stressed?” Giving a puppy lots of coddling and lots of affection cannot answer these questions for the puppy. To connect to a puppy on an instinctual level, we should act like a dog mother. All dogs need their dog mother. They feel safe and relax next to their dog mothers. The dog mother will drive away all the intruders. The dog mother will protect the puppies. The dog mother does not just kiss the puppies all day, she will teach them how to behave properly. She will do everything she can to help the puppies to grow up to be balanced dogs. The dog mother does not do what she does because she thinks her puppies are cute. The dog mother does not kiss her puppies constantly so she can feel good about herself. The dog mother does not talk to the puppies about what a long day she has had. The dog mother does not take the puppies to a public place and ask everyone to touch her puppies anyway they want... Instead, the dog mother has the best interest of the puppies in mind. The dog mother’s first priority is not about how to use the puppies to make herself feel good, but how to make her puppies feel safe and relaxed. When a very young puppy arrives in a new home and finds herself among lots of excitement and emotion, she will want to turn to her dog mother for direction and comfort. If she cannot find anyone whom she can view as her “dog mother”, she may feel quite nervous. A lot of people struggle with puppies because they don’t know they need to be the dog mother. They keep doing to the puppy the opposite of what the dog mother may do. Today is Frankie’s first day. l am just going to give her her space and make sure no one or no dog would overwhelm her. I will introduce myself to her as the dog mother. She is a bit fearful and timid; but she will open up and become more trusting and confident soon once she knows l am not just another person who goes up to pet her and talk to her in baby voices - l am someone who is calm, stable, and l will advocate for her.