Puppy Culture and Mental Health

Table of Contents

May is Mental Health Awareness Month! It’s common knowledge that dogs are good for human mental health, but did you know that dogs need help with their mental health too? Dogs are a lot more complicated than people tend to think. Like humans, dogs can experience stress, anxiety, depression, grief, and other mental and emotional issues. One way Golden Ridge Farm German Shepherds tries to promote clear heads for all our German Shepherds is to utilize a program called Puppy Culture. Here’s how the program works: 

What is Puppy Culture? 

Originating in Europe, Puppy Culture is a comprehensive training program that improves companionship and assists in the development of a healthy, happy, and confident dog. It focuses on stimulation and socialization skills throughout the puppy’s first eight weeks. By implementing this training program at the beginning stages of life, we give our German Shepherds the best start possible.


Prenatal Period

The program doesn’t start when the puppy is born; it starts in the womb. Making sure that the puppy’s mother is physically and emotionally healthy will ensure that her puppies are too. Research has shown that puppies born to mothers that receive prenatal massages are more docile and enjoy being touched. That’s why at Golden Ridge Farms, we spoil our mother German Shepherds with lots of affection and belly massages. 


Neonatal Period (0-14 Days)

Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) begins on day three and continues through day 16. Research shows that puppies benefit from tiny struggles and stresses in appropriate small doses. This is because it will help the puppies grow into strong, healthy well-adjusted adults. They’ll have greater tolerance to stress, greater resistance to disease, a faster adrenal system, stronger heart rate, and stronger heartbeat. 


Transitional Period (14-21 Days)

We know it’s time for our puppies to transition into a new phase when their behavior changes. Every puppy is different, but usually, the transitional period begins when the puppy’s eyes open and when they start hearing sounds.


Socialization Period (3-12 Weeks)

The most critical period for any newborn puppy. This is the time period where your new dog will learn emotional intelligence and be able to socialize appropriately with humans. There are seven things during this period that will nurture the emotional intelligence of your puppy:

  1. Communication
  2. Emotional Stability/Stress Management
  3. Habituation 
  4. Enrichment
  5. Health
  6. Skills/Learned Behaviors
  7. Love

After week eight, your German Shepherd can come home to you and your family where they will complete the last four weeks of the Puppy Culture program. 


Ready to Get Started?

Golden Ridge Farm is your go-to breeder for healthy and happy German Shepherds! We follow a strict Puppy Culture program to ensure that all our puppies have a great first start and a good foundation to go about life happy and healthy. Click here to learn more about our available German Shepherds and how we raised them. 

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