Puppy Socialization Training and Obedience Information
Tags: dog training, obedience, puppies, socialization, treat, puppy school
Puppy socialization is the act of introducing puppies with other people, dogs, cats, new sights sounds and surroundings. It is critical to start puppy socialization early 8 and 16 weeks of age as this period of time is the where you puppy will learn and absorb the most information that he or she will carry with them throughout the rest of their life.
About Puppy Socialization
A properly socialized puppy will grow to become a well socialized dog who is confident in himself, well adjusted, and will make an excellent companion. Socialization provides puppies with independence and self-assurance to meet new dogs, people, and experiences with an open mind without being frightened or aggressive. An un-socialized puppy, one without the opportunities during the 4-6 week socialization period, might develop unwanted behaviors such as fear-biting, aggression, unnecessary barking, etc and will generally be unpleasant to be around. These dogs become difficult to socialize later in their life and usually end up in shelters as they are unable to adapt to even their home, let alone new environments.
Proper socialization is much like house-training, in that once taught, you and your puppy will have a lifetime of rewards. Simply making a visit to the veterinarian’s office will be painless. The postman will be more likely to bring your pet a treat rather than bring a can of mace. A socialized puppy will also give you a lifetime of enjoyment as he will desire new activities and new environments. These kind of dogs grow up to be gun dogs or hunters, competitive swimmers, search and rescue dogs, certified therapy dogs and the like, all of which are fun and rewarding activities for both you and your pup.
Socializing your puppy is actually a fun process as it’s not a regimented training program. Simply going to the pet store and taking your puppy with you is socialization. Be sure that during this period, you minimize threatening circumstances and or activities. For example, when introducing your puppy to other dogs, be sure they are friendly and will not bark at the puppy. Do not force or rush your puppy, i.e. don’t throw your puppy in the water to get him to swim, let him build the confidence at his own pace. Frightening, harmful, or painful experiences during the puppy socialization period can be detrimental to your puppy’s development and growth and could lead to lifetime phobias.
Ways to Socialize your Puppy
Take your puppy to puppy school! This kindergarten style class is almost exclusively for puppy socialization. They’ll learn to meet other breeds that are both bigger and smaller than they, learn how to focus on simple commands with distractions around them, and they’ll have the chance to meet other people. Instructors in puppy class will always have good ways for your puppy to interact with others.
Puppy socials are also common and are usually found in puppy socialization classes. Puppy socials provide more opportunities to meet others, as well as make some lifelong playmates.
Invite over your friends and family to meet the puppy. Have them handle him, play with him, even provide treats as rewards. The more people he has a chance to meet the more accepting he will become of strangers.
Introduce your puppy to other dogs, cats, turtles, whatever you can get. Inviting over other dogs that are friendly to puppies is the greatest socialization – but be sure they are fully vaccinated as your puppy is particularly vulnerable to worms and diseases such as Parvo.
Take your puppy with you on outings to the store, playgrounds, school, and to shopping centers. He will have the opportunity to experience riding in the car as well as meeting and trusting strangers.
During this period it is also good to introduce your puppy to potentially frightening things like vacuum cleaners, loud noises and the like. Introduce these things from a distance at first and gradually bring them closer.
This is also an essential period to get your puppy accustomed to being bathed and groomed. Brush your puppy with a comb or slicker brush, clip his nails, clean his eyes and ears and brush his teeth.
Take him on plenty of walks in different places and get him used to going up and down stairs, going over walkways or bridges, and encourage him to explore different places.
Learning that the world outside is important to a puppy’s development and proper socialization will develop a fully mature dog that is confident in his abilities, and will become a useful, loving companion. Socialization continues throughout the rest of a dogs life as they learn good and bad things, and utilize their memory to recognize dangerous environments. Continue taking your dog out into the world and remember to reward them for good deeds accomplished.
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