So, I bet a lot of you will look at the title and ask “What IS a Puppy Nanny?”
Jokes and puns about “ Mary Puppins” or “Nanny McPuphee” aside – what is it? Simply put – I get to help puppies explore the world around them! How amazing is that!
My job is to expose the pups to as many different life experiences as I can so they grow into calm, confident dogs. Puppies are sponges! They soak up information until they are 6 months old. The experiences they have in that period are vital to their development and shaping their responses to big wide, world as they grow.
So this all sounds very time consuming (and a little daunting!) and as, at the moment, you can’t get paternity leave when you get a puppy(!) ….. at some point, most of us have to return to work and the old routine. Whilst your home always changes when a new puppy arrives there’s only so many things you can adapt… your puppy needs to adjust to its new life. Socialisation is key to that adjustment. This is where I come in (the puppy nanny)! We come in to take your pup out while you’re out at working – earning the money to keep the dog treats coming in!!
We fill that time with as many experiences as possible. You know what?? Its just as tiring for the pups as if they’d done a big long walk. They have so much new information and stimuli to take in it tires them mentally and physically without covering much distance. For example – I take puppies to the train station as part of their puppy nanny experience. It’s not because their owners want to take them on the train, it’s because its hotbed of new experiences in small area.
So I drive them to station – this means we have maximum time to explore but also its really good to give pups regular exposure to car travel from being small. In the walk from the car to the station we’ll encounter different floor surfaces – concrete, paving stones or cobbles. There will be traffic noise – traffic in the car park. People walking around, buses pulling up. There could be rain, wind or snow… all these things are new to pups, totally different to safe, cosy homes that they are used to. The station itself has noises, groups of people, people with bags, shopping trollies, cases, people carrying food or drinks. There are railway staff in uniform and high vis or reflective clothing. There’s talking, shouting, people running, children walking or in pushchairs, teenagers heading to or from school and all that’s before the train pulls in and all the noises and smells that come with that!
If you see all this from your pups eyes – there is a lot of new noises and smells! Things that we often take for granted. Some puppies find this whole thing incredibly exciting, so the puppy nanny is on hand to help build their self-control so they channel that enthusiasm in safe way. Other pups find the whole thing terrifying; we are there to hold paws (or give hugs) to reassure pup that its ok and help them build the confidence to cope with it all.
See like I said – its pretty amazing! The Puppy Nanny means that you can confidentially carry on with your day to day routine, safe in the knowledge that even though you can’t be with them, your pup is safe, happy and having adventures.