Do's and Don'ts of Puppy Socialization

Now that you’re the new parent of a new puppy, you want to make sure that it grows in to a beautiful, obedient and healthy dog. The first step in your adventure is to make sure your puppy gets socialized. Socialization is the foundation for determining if your dog will develop aggression issues and poor manners. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind on your journey.

When it’s time for your pup to interact with other animals or people you must make sure that this is done as calmly and peacefully as possible. You do not want to make your pups first experiences scary or confusing. Ensure that your puppy is in a safe environment that he will not be frightened in.

It`s a whole new world for these little fellows, so start them out gently. Start with family members and friends, the more people they meet the less likely they will be frightened by them in the future. Once they have mastered meeting people, introduce them to the dogs of your friends and neighbors as long as they are calm, healthy and happy dogs themselves. It’s all about your puppy feeling safe.

Next, while they are still young, you’ll want to take them out in public as often as possible. Take them to parks and playgrounds, walk them to the store or drive them to pet stores. Basically just get them meeting and used to strangers on a regular basis.

These are thing that you should do when training a puppy to be an obedient dog. Now there are some things to avoid. The first is never wait too long to start the socialization process. The younger they start the better and easier it will be for them to accept other people, pets and surroundings in their lives.

Avoid putting your pup in stressful situations where they may not feel safe. If you must go in uncharted territories, for example when travelling, give them a safe place to be by themselves but at the same time keep an eye on you.  Don’t let them go close to strange animals you don’t know. You never know how another dog is going to behave if you don’t know them and it only takes one attack can traumatize your pup and change its behavior forever.

Never reward your puppy for being afraid, it will only enhance this behavior. This isn’t just a problem for your dog because often when dogs are scared they lash out and biting is just one of their defence mechanisms. You do not want to encourage that behavior.

Last but not least, you have to remember to be patient. Socialization is a very important part of their growing up and you don’t want to rush them through it. Dogs like people will learn at their own pace and if that pace is slowly you will do no good by forcing them to learn at your pace. Take it slow and be consistent should be your new mantra (It’s not a bad way to live life either!)

If your dog is not socializing well with others despite all your attempts, you might want to call in the top guns. Check out other in-depth training practices that will teach you much more than the basics covered here.