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Tip of the Month: Socialization

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Tip of the Month: Socialization
  • Proper socialization is the key to preventing many future behavior problems, but it’s important that you take the right approach. All experiences must be positive ones, especially for a young puppy. For example, if you take your puppy to a dog park and all the other dogs gang up around him to smell him and this frightens him, he may learn that other dogs are scary. If you take your puppy to a friend’s and there are loud, boisterous children who frighten him, he may learn that children should be avoided. These kinds of experiences may cause your puppy to grow up to be a dog who growls, snaps, or even bites children and other dogs. To prevent this, control the experiences he has. Only let him meet and play with safe, gentle dogs. Start with one dog at a time, then gradually work up to multiple canine friends. Only let your puppy meet friendly, gentle people of all ages. Set up all your puppy’s experiences so that they are positive ones. He will learn that the world is a friendly, safe place, which will make him less likely to develop fear or aggression problems later.
    ~Teoti Anderson , CPDTKA, Pawsitive Results, LLC, Lexington, SC

  • One of the most important aspects of having a puppy is socialization. The puppy has a socialization window—the time when he is more open to accepting novel things than at any other time during his life—from age 3 weeks to 16 weeks. During this time, the more proper socialization (positive experiences) owners can provide their puppy, the better adjusted he will be when encountering new things later in life.
    ~Ann Allums , CPDT-KA, Best Friends Animal Society, Kanab, UT

  • If your dog is afraid of new people, help him learn that strangers are safe. Forget about forcing him to accept petting from a stranger, which will only serve to increase his fear and feeling of hopelessness around strangers. Instead, arm yourself with tasty treats for your dog. When he becomes aware of a stranger, you (not the stranger) should begin feeding your dog. Do not ask the stranger to give your dog a treat until your dog is comfortable approaching the person. Otherwise, he may take the treat but do so fearfully. By initially feeding the dog yourself, you are showing him that good things happen when strangers are in sight.
    ~Ann Allums , CPDT-KA, Best Friends Animal Society, Kanab, UT

  • Puppies are like sponges—they want and need to absorb as much as they can! It is important to expose your puppy to as many positive experiences as possible during his formative weeks and months. Let him explore different textures under his feet, like sand, rocks, tile floors, or grass. Set up an obstacle course in your own living room or backyard, and use baby gates to walk across, branches from a tree to crawl through and over, and paper and plastic trash bags to provide exposure to unique sounds and textures. Then let the games begin!
    ~Karen Vass -Deeds , Canine Connection, Ft. Worth, TX

Have a Tip for your fellow dog lovers? Share it below!

Excerpted from Top Tips from Top Trainers – 1001 Practical Tips and Techniques for Successful Dog Care and Training © 2010 T.F.H. Publications, Inc. Used by Permission.

Website: http://www.petbookexpress.com

One Response to Tip of the Month: Socialization

  1. Ashley Hall, ABCDT May 10, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

    Socialization is very important for dogs of all ages and breeds. Starting your puppy in puppy classes is a good start. Not only will you learn basic obedience commands, but your puppy gets to interact with other dogs around the same age in a safe and controlled environment. After puppy classes, keep socializing your dog to new places, dogs, and people for the rest of your dog’s life.

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