From CarmenI edited my post above but I would like to clarify some things here for others that may be getting a new puppy and reading this.
This is not driven by goals or some checklist. Every step along the way, Valor was monitored closely for stress or avoidance. Had I see any sign of either, we would have backed off immediately. This wasn't en exercise in forcing the puppy to accept things or situations. It was not flooding. If you can't accurately define and recognize stress in a puppy, have someone help you do these kinds of activities.
At no time did I have any expectation of how these adventures would go. I simply observed and recorded what Valor was showing me at the time. He was very happy to go along with everything. He got plenty of rest in between adventures. He got plenty of exercise before heading out to burn off that initial excitement after a nap.
The benefits of all these activities would have been immediately turned into liabilities had I forced Valor into accepting a situation in which he was uncomfortable. As in all training, let the dog in front of you dictate your strategy and goals. Challenge them with things in which they can succeed and have fun.
“David, thank you very much. Valor is a bullseye right on target representing a 40yr dedicated plan for exactly that type of dog.
Your plan is exactly what I do, what I have tried to put across for people to understand. As seen in the Early Socialization thread and the genetic obedience thread. When I select and take a dog out, it is not to condition them, it’s not to flood or change behaviours, it is only to observe their natural nerve stability and judgement. Their boldness, a trait sorely missing in the breed. Only by observing what the dog is naturally, do you know what you have genetically, which will be passed on through generations when these things are considered also from the breeding partner. No trait is masked by conditioning. As Valor matures and you give him more opportunities, you will come to understand what I have meant by genetic obedience. Oh, and by the way, how is his structure?.......Not bad eh!!“