Hi all! I'm new here so forgive me if there is already a thread devoted to this topic. I've been lurking on the boards for a while now and have read a lot of good advice. I'm hoping you all can give me some advice on helping our new BC puppy, and share your experiences with fearful puppies/puppies going through fear periods.
We adopted our puppy from a rescue group last week. The group believes he is a full blooded BC and he certainly looks it! We are familiar with herding breeds and the challenges and joys of puppy-raising, and are very excited to introduce our puppy (Beau) to the very best life we can.
When Beau came home, he was 8 weeks old and initially showed normal signs of puppy-leaving-litter separation anxiety. He cried most of the night, but by the next morning was beginning to warm up to my husband and I. However, as we have had him over the past few days, we have noticed he is intensely fearful of other people, unfamiliar places, car rides and children. He will struggle against the leash or our arms, and even growl when someone unfamiliar pushes his comfort zone too far. He hates walking anywhere unfamiliar and will sit down and refuse to move when we go too far outside of familiar territory, even within our own immediate surroundings. I'm assuming he's going through a fear period, but as I don't have experience raising a puppy this young, I am not quite sure how to best handle it.
Of course we correct the growling, and I expect he will grow out of some of his fears with confident handling and time, but I don't want his fear to escalate into something more dangerous, especially with the children in our neighborhood. I want to make sure to manage this fear appropriately and get started early, so that we can encourage Beau to develop into a happy, confident dog. I figure even though we've only had him a week, it's better to address this early on rather than potentially letting it escalate further/ leaving it unaddressed.
Do you all have any advice as to what is normal for a BC puppy during a fear period and what we should be concerned about? How did you help your puppies through this time?
Thanks in advance!