Why teach your Puppy Socialization?
It’s a good idea to expose your puppy to the world of children, whether or not you have children in your family. If you don’t have children, seek the support of a friend’s family to accompany their children to soccer games or shopping excursions as your dog develops.
Allow your puppy to sit calmly and observe the youngsters while they laugh, scream, yell, and run about. Even clumsy toddlers are welcome to pet your dog. Just keep a tight eye on your puppy in case you need to gently block a rough touch or avoid a scratch from his sharp teeth.
Introduction of Your Dog to Children
With youngsters, always keep a watchful eye on your dog.
Allowing small children to pick up your dog is not recommended since he is still frail.
If your dog attempts to mouth or jumps up on a youngster who reaches out to pat her, have a puppy biscuit available. Ask your dog to sit for the reward to avoid any issues.
People exist in many shapes and sizes, not just children and adults, therefore you should socialize your puppy with both adults and children. Your dog should encounter individuals who are tall and short, black and fair-skinned.
She should meet both young and elderly men and women. She should interact with persons who use canes, wheelchairs, and bicycles, among other things.
If your puppy learns to sit rather than leap up to get pets or goodies, you won’t have to be concerned when strangers touch her. Rather than attempting to modify this unpleasant but natural behavior, educate your puppy on the greeting position you want her to adopt. You may assist your puppy to make a smooth transition to sitting for petting while she’s away from home by practicing the “sit” at home.
If the person meeting your dog has a treat in hand, it will make for a smoother welcome whether your puppy is rambunctious or hesitant.
Allow visitors to pat her one or two times before stopping and giving her a little reward to aid her socialization. Working within your puppy’s comfort zone and being aware of her abilities to stay calm is key to her success. You want her to be interested, even thrilled, but not to the point of being unable to sit still.
It is critical that you do not chastise your dog if she leaps. She won’t be able to figure out what went wrong. Your scolding may cause you to be hesitant to welcome new individuals. You don’t want to teach leaping on cues in another environment, such as tricks or a canine sport, since you don’t want to establish fear of humans or even jumping.
Contact with Other Dogs
Your dog will almost certainly come into contact with other dogs in her area. At the veterinarian’s office, there will be dogs. Other dogs could be out walking in your area. Your puppy’s social abilities with other dogs will have a big influence on the activities you can perform with her as she gets older.
Your puppy should understand that not every dog wants to play. Rather, she must understand that some dogs will be uninterested and others will be hostile. Your duty is to keep your puppy calm and quiet while carefully watching the dogs that don’t want to play. Allowing your puppy to meet unknown canines at random is neither safe nor suitable.
This is sometimes easier said than done. You could be dull to your pet. To gain a chance to play with another dog, she could tug or bark.
Don’t be boring; have some delicious goodies on hand. Reward your puppy for sitting and paying attention to you with a reward. While the other dog is passing by, have a rope or braided fleecy toy in your pocket and whip it out for a little tug game.
You can be more entertaining than a passing dog with a tug toy.
Learning to play correctly with other dogs is a vital element of socialization. Allow your young puppy to interact with and play with other dogs. She should encounter dogs of all colors, ages, genders, and sizes throughout her sensitive phase, just as she should meet a variety of humans.
Make certain that the dog being introduced is tolerant and calm, and that if your puppy makes a little canine social blunder, it will not snap or bite. Puppies may be a pain, and an intolerant older dog might scare or harm your puppy.
This is one of the reasons why leash walks are not a suitable place for pups (or any age dog) to meet new canines. Leash use may hinder typical canine greeting behaviors and make a dog feel more vulnerable to dog violence. On-leash walks, your objective should be to have a calm, comfortable dog that is happy to comfortably go by another dog.
Socialization Classes for Puppies
The goal of a puppy socialization session, sometimes known as “puppy kindergarten,” is to introduce pups to other puppies and their families. Dog socialization lessons are a fantastic way to socialize your puppy in a safe environment.
The trainers and veterinarians who teach these sessions may arrange for a variety of humans, dogs, and other companion animals to be exposed inside the classroom. Although most schools will assist you in teaching your puppy basic habits such as “sitting,” an ideal session will focus on social skills. Inquire with your veterinarian about courses in your region.
You should enroll your puppy in a socialization class at her sensitive phase for socializing, taking into account her growth timetable. Keep in mind that the sensitive time lasts for twelve weeks. Many training facilities will let you register your puppy before you adopt it. Classes fill up fast, so call ahead.
Most schools take pups as young as 10 weeks old, and some as little as eight weeks. Your puppy will have just recently started her vaccine series and may not be entirely immune to all possible illnesses, so be sure your class leader has requested evidence of immunization for each puppy in attendance.
Puppy kindergarten teaches your puppy how to sit quietly while other puppies play, how to meet and greet people without jumping up, how to meet and greet other puppies (and possibly adult dogs and cats), how to play politely with other puppies, and how to sit, lie down, come when called, and walk nicely on a leash.
Don’t worry if lessons aren’t offered in your region. You can socialize your puppy effectively on your own.
Puppy Kindergarten Qualities to Look for
You and your dog should be able to hear the instructor in a moderately calm atmosphere.
Everyone in the family, particularly the kids, should be encouraged to participate.
It’s critical to take a soft approach. The focus should be on teaching your puppy proper behavior using incentives like as food, toys, and praise.
Smiles and wagging tails: this is supposed to be a good time!
Puppies should be about the same age (ideally between eight and fourteen weeks when they start class) and hence have comparable maturity levels.
To prevent huge pups from overpowering smaller puppies, there should be chances to separate puppies by size.
What Not to Do
A prong or choke collar correction should not be requested by the instructor.
Scruff should not be used to support puppies.
Puppies should not be pinned on their backs or turned over.
You should not be asked to shout at, bite, bark at, or snarl at your puppy by the instructor.
In essence, harsh reprimands must never be accepted!
At Home, Looking Forward
Your puppy will develop into a dog that is at ease in the wide world with adequate care and socialization. Hopefully, with early exposures under her belt, she will be able to face any future events calmly and confidently.
She will, however, spend most of her days and nights with you, her human family. It’s crucial for your dog to feel safe and secure in her own home. You and your dog will learn the most about communication with one another at home.
Now is the time to sit down and set some rules down. You’ll have to educate your dog about your own goals. In your household, what do you regard to be appropriate behavior? We’ve previously spoken about imagining the dog your puppy will grow up to be.
Consider that for a moment. Will you appreciate having your dog in bed when she’s big, fluffy, and maybe muddy? If this is the case, the regulation may be “Puppy may be in bed.” Do you like it when your dog walks in front of you and you can see what she’s trying to eat? “Puppy may walk ahead,” says the regulation.
Unless a pet or human is in danger, there is no right or wrong. However, you must remain constant so that your puppy does not get confused. So make a list of the rules and follow them.
Staying on Track and Avoiding Pitfalls
Too many cooks is a phrase that everyone has heard. We can’t even begin to count the number of cooks now that the Internet has arrived. Every minute, around 48 hours of YouTube videos are posted, equating to almost eight years of material every day, and many of those films are about dogs!
Listening to a little guidance from a variety of sources and then trying to implement bits and pieces of numerous ideas and suggestions is one of the major dangers in puppy rearing. You just do not need that many chefs.
Above all, make it simple, logical, and rational.
Create a mental image of your perfect dog first. Make a list of the adult-level guidelines you want her to observe. Then, lead the puppy such that the behaviors you’ve chosen are as natural as possible. Use effective management approaches to avoid undesirable behaviors. Reward positive actions.
Second, give your puppy a variety of enriching activities. Observe your puppy’s reactions with every encounter. Take a picture of her when she’s smiling.
Check to see if she’s showing any indications of anxiety or discomfort in unfamiliar surroundings. Some pups need more delicate introductions, while others like exploring the wild side.
Finally, be practical. The temperament and disposition of your puppy, as well as her breed, will influence her proclivity for specific actions. A timid or reticent puppy needs different socialization than a boisterous dog.
The majority of dogs like learning and performing. Plan to provide your dog with cerebral stimulation for the rest of his life. In fact, it is reasonable to assume that training is never-ending for all dogs.
Revisiting Justice and Steve
Justice, at eight years old, is a typical adult dog with excellent social abilities in both human and canine companionship. Justice didn’t win his conformation title, but he had a successful show career and seemed to enjoy himself. Justice enjoys working and has earned the rank of Junior Hunter. He makes new acquaintances all the time and is always welcome at picnics and gatherings.
Steve is about eighteen months old and enjoys meeting new people.
He gets along with the most mature large-breed dogs and may accompany his owners on hikes and other adventures. If dogs approach him too near, he could anxiously growl and seek to back away (a show of fear). Steve takes a bit to warm up to huge dogs, but his owners are patient, and he already has numerous large canine companions.
So, what exactly did we say?
Both heredity and environment influence behavior (nature and nurture).
Each puppy is unique, although she does arrive with certain pre-programmed characteristics that are influenced by her early experiences.
To realize her full potential, your puppy should be exposed to a broad range of social situations. Now is the time to start training your mature dog.
Individuals learn to accept future social circumstances via socialization, which is characterized as a particular learning process.
Although your puppy should be exposed to social circumstances until he or she is an adult, it is critical to start when he or she is most susceptible to new stimuli (the sensitive socialization period—six to twelve weeks of age).
If your puppy has specific concerns, be patient, distract her, and praise her with well-loved goodies for any confident progress.
However, if your puppy continues to display signs of fear and anxiety, seek further assistance from your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist.
Dog socialization lessons are a great and safe way to socialize your puppy in a controlled environment. You should also take advantage of any opportunities to socialize outside of these programs.
It is critical to begin an obedience training program at this early age.
Above all, both you and your new dog should enjoy this experience!
You may think the training and socializing ideas in this chapter are overwhelming. The truth is that you just need to teach your puppy for a few minutes each day; while you go about your daily routine and begin your lives together, your puppy will pick up crucial lessons.