Want a Well-Rouded Dog? Never Skip This!

January 18, 2018

Hi, my name is Melanie Kreker, and I am a dog groomer at Zoom Zoom Groom, but I am also a trainer. My passion for the language of dogs and their training is immense, and I hope that through the venue of this blog, I can share with you what I know for sure.

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Before I do this, however, I think it's essential that you get to know me (my training & background) and even more importantly my dogs. I have two important dogs in my life; Apollo, the genius, who has achieved his Champion Trick Title (pictured above) and much more, and Athena (pictured below) the newest and youngest member of the family, who is quickly emerging as the new prodigy!


To reveal my canine passions is essential so you can be assured I have the background to share future blogs with you. I am a member of the Manitoba Animal Actors- training dogs/cats and more for the film industry. I am also involved in flyball, agility, scent detection, dock diving and my favourite- tricks!    

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Dogs are my life, and I live and breath all aspects of their development, their physiology, and their psychology!

When I'm not training, I'm making them beautiful with the skills I have accomplished as a Professional Canine Groomer.

So, enough about me! The blog post is titled, "Want a Well Rounded Dog?... NEVER skip this!" What one must never skip is the importance of SOCIALIZATION!

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To start with I want to reinforce that the socialization period of dogs can be broken down into two subcategories.

1. Primary Socialization

2. Secondary Socialization

Let's start with the Primary Socialization. Primary Socialization occurs when a puppy is 3-5 weeks old. In this time the puppy can:

  • learn how to communicate with other dogs
  • recognize it's own breed
  • develop bit inhibition
  • Secondary Socialization occurs from 6-12 weeks of age. In this time the puppy can:
  • establish social competition and fight amongst its littermates
  • learn from the mother as her motherly discipline increases
  • will enter a fear period

Puppies that are removed from their mother and littermates before their eight week birthdays may exhibit fear, dog aggression and anxiety as they lacked this important time as a son/daughter under their mother's influence, and the experience of being a littermate in establishing rules and etiquette of the pack.

So what is the best thing you can do for your puppy?


Puppies need to learn to play with various breeds to develop standard canine communication skills. Their experiences should always be positive and controlled.

Puppies should start foundation training at weeks of age. In doing this, you are teaching them appropriate behaviors and discouraging or even preventing bad habits from forming.

Puppies attention span and coordination may not be as good as adult dogs, but their learning ability and capacity for long-term memory is equal to an adult dog.

There are so many things to see and do as a new puppy! Puppies should be exposed to different people, surfaces, sounds, animals, and environments! In learning all these new skills, it is important you and your puppy understand socialization safety. For sure, always restrict your puppy from contact with unvaccinated dogs.

I am over-the-top excited to be teaching the first PUPPY START RIGHT classes at Apex Academy of Professional Grooming & Animal Arts in February! (refer to class information here)

In this course my focus will be to facilitate all owners and their puppies in the following skills and learnings:

  • the basics using the clicker training method (sit, down, stay and come)
  • grooming and vet table manners
  • crate training
  • house training
  • nail trimming
  • proper socialization techniques and how to play nicely
  • developmental periods
  • communication signals
  • and more!

Please feel free to phone Zoom Zoom Groom if you have any questions. I include the link for information on my future classes. If you are a client of mine, never hesitate to ask a question about your training needs. I am here to help! It's more than a passion- it's my life.

In closing I'm including a short video of Athena (5 months old) doing puppy tasks. Hope you enjoy it!

Melanie Kreker