Socializing Your Puppy
Like any dog trainer will tell you, an obedient dog is a happy and confident dog. Dog obedience training is a vital aspect of raising a new puppy, as puppies develop most of their knowledge and perceptions of the world in the early months of life. However, many dog trainers will argue that proper socialization is even more important than taking your dog through basic training.
Social Skills Can Only Be Learned Through Socializing
So, why is socialization more important than dog training? The characteristics of a well-behaved puppy are more than skin deep. If your dog is impeccably trained in obedience, but has never met another dog in his life, there is a chance he could react with fear or aggression when he comes in contact with a fellow canine no matter how much training he has.
How to Socialize Your Puppy
Expose Your Puppy to New Things
The way to avoid a bad situation is by taking preventative measures. When you first welcome your puppy into your home, not only should you potty train him, but you should also get him accustomed to new situations.
Invite guests over to your home and have them interact with the puppy. If he reacts with shyness or fear, exercise patience. Encourage him to come to you with plenty of praise and treats, have your guests speak softly to him and don’t make any sudden movements that might frighten him. With plenty of positive reinforcement, your dog will soon regard having company at the house as an enjoyable experience.
Show Him the World
Once your puppy becomes accustomed to seeing new people within his home, start taking him out for daily strolls so he becomes aware of the outside world. It’s healthy for him to hear the sounds, smell the smells and see the sights of everything beyond your home.
RELATED: Dog Walking Etiquette
Confining him to the house will only create issues in his social development so it’s important he gets used to taking walks. Not only will it allow him to have a new experience, but it’ll also exercise him in the process. Plus, he’ll enjoy being outdoors engaging in a fun physical activity with his favorite person: you!
Let Him Meet Other Dogs
Last, but not least, the dog park. The dog park is an excellent place where your dog can become acquainted with other dogs. However, it is strongly advised your dog receives his shots before going to public places and interacting with other pets.
Another important thing to remember about socializing in the dog park is to never assume a dog is friendly. Before you approach a dog, ask his owner if he gets along with other dogs first. There is always a chance that a bad situation could erupt due to a simple misjudgment on your part.
With all of these methods, you can easily teach your pup to become the social butterfly everyone will love and adore.