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Dog Training 101

Why Train Your Dog?
Basic Dog Obedience
Crate Training
Socializing Your Dog
Chewing & Biting
Doggy Fun For All
Doggy Stuff
Doggy Quiz
Doggy Ecards
Doggy Photos
Socializing Your Dog

What one thing will ensure the development of a calm, confident dog unlikely to jump, bark, bite, spook or become aggressive around other dogs or people? Daily socialization to a wide variety of human infants, toddlers, pre-teens, adolescents, adults, as well as many other pups and friendly adult dogs.

Pups exposed at a young age, on a daily basis, to a wide variety of new situations, children, adults, friendly dogs and other pups are much less likely to react fearfully, bark, aggress or bite later in life.

How should you properly socialize your puppy?

Don't force him into a situation he's shy about; let him meet people, children, and other dogs at his own pace. His most impressionable "imprint" period is from 3 weeks to 16 weeks of age; however, the following socialization exercises must be continued throughout his adolescent months and adult years as well:

Human Socialization:

Even before his vaccines, invite friends and relatives, particularly young children, to your house often. Keep a bowl of puppy food by the door so visitors can treat him when they arrive.

Hold your puppy while you stand in front of a mall entrance and let passers-by say hello. Go to schools, shopping centers, nursing homes, and (after vaccinations) take walks with him in different neighborhoods. Keep a pocketful of treats to give to adults and children to give to your pup - this will solidify a positive association with strangers in his mind.

A pup well-socialized to 6 year olds is not necessarily well-socialized to 2-year olds; make an effort to have him meet a very wide variety of children and adults.

NOTE: Never leave a baby or toddler alone with a puppy or dog of any age. However, your pup needs to meet many babies and toddlers, so an adult should treat/praise the pup when holding or standing next to a small child. Slightly older children (under 10) often tend to get rough and hurt pups (poking eyes, pulling tails, jumping on, slapping). Allowing this is asking for trouble later, so carefully supervise all of your pup's interactions with your children and their friends.

Canine Socialization:

Once he's had his Intratrac and 2nd Distemper/Parvo vaccines, your pup can and should play with other vaccinated puppies and friendly adult dogs as frequently as possible.

Have a "puppy party" at your home with other pups and their owners.

Bring him to the local park (always on leash) to play with other friendly dogs. Sign up for a puppy kindergarten class.

Bring him to your local pet store. Dog daycare is also an excellent place for your puppy to get socialized while you're at work.

When he's playing with pups his own age, he may be more shy or more aggressive than the others. This is normal. Try not to pick up a shy pup or scold a boisterous one; he needs to learn his canine social skills from the other pups - and believe us, they'll let him know what's OK and what's not.

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