Socializing your puppy is one of the most important parts of training your dog. A puppy who is receiving frequent and early socialization will do well with all sorts of environmental changes. Your puppy is more apt to handle different situations they’re accidentally exposed to such as petting from a pushy visitor or maybe a kid’s scooter riding over their tail.
The socialization process normally consists of having a safe place for your puppy to explore. You should pay attention to these four different areas while in the socialization process:
- Other animals
In situations where you’re not sure about what will happen, you should keep your puppy leashed. This will help avoid something like an uncoordinated child from picking him up, and you can keep your puppy off of the sidewalk just in case a bicycle goes by.
You want to socialize your puppy to people by making sure he gets plenty of exposure to both male and female humans, different ages and nationalities. Go to a park or down to the beach or even outside of a large store. Try to take your him everywhere you can; so he can be exposed to all sorts of social settings. Some things to consider when beginning to socialize your puppy are:
Desensitize the puppy to noises by various empty plastic containers and safe objects such as an empty plastic milk jug or a large metal spoon.
Get him to walking on different surfaces such as big plastic bags, or bubble wrap. You can place a treat in the middle of the surface so he can be rewarded for his bravery.
If your puppy’s experience with meeting new people will be pretty limited, you can improvise by using different costumes. Wear hats, capes or even a mask. You can even limp or walk with a cane to get him seeing different types of situations.
Keep in mind of the different things people carry and things they use from day to day. Make sure he is exposed to everything from key chains to vacuum cleaners and in between. These are common things we use every day and your puppy needs to be made aware of them.
Whatever you are socializing your puppy to whether animals, people or things, you need to make sure you do this in a relaxed way. Stay away from anything which would scare or intimidate him. Also, be ready for three different reactions. He will either walk up and check out whatever he is being exposed to by sniffing, or he will become apprehensive and start barking with his hackles raised, or he will run away. Make sure you stay quiet during this time and allow him to find out about the situation himself.
Remember, socializing your puppy is a must, and you can use your creativity to make him become more confident in all sorts of situations. This needs to start as soon as you bring your new puppy home. Doing these things will be a good start at the socialization process and will help your puppy become experienced in many different situations.