A top dog trainer might cite your dog's ancestral behavior when he explains the need for puppy socialization. Dog obedience training can not be ultimately successful unless your puppy is exposed to many different situations, because her nature has taught her to be fearful of the unknown. This is one of the reasons that wolves live in packs.
Your dog's ancestors were, indeed, predators, but they were not invincible. Especially when separated from their packs, they were vulnerable in unfamiliar situations that included unknown creatures and landscapes. This fear was necessary for survival, and lives on in modern dogs.
Like wolves, today's dogs' fears can be exhibited as aggression. When a dog is fearful, she might growl, bark, or bite; and will be tagged as a dangerous dog. Often, this is a result of poor socialization.
Socialization is crucial, not only for your dog's peace of mind, but for the safety of neighbors, other animals, children, yourself, and your dog.
Starting at the age of eight weeks, and through her sixteenth week, your puppy is the most impressionable. A conscientious dog owner will grasp this brief chance to introduce the world to his or her puppy, to prove that the world is an exciting place, worthy of confident exploration.
When you picture your life with your adult dog, what do you see? Whatever activities you desire, do those things with your puppy, plus more. Here are a few suggestions:
Expose your puppy to children, so that she can learn to view their quick movements and shrill voices as nonthreatening.
Make your puppy a regular passenger in your car.
Stroll through nature, so your puppy can experience the sights and sounds of chipmunks, birds, etc.
Introduce her to other dogs. Dog parks and dog obedience schools are terrific ways to accomplish this.
Frequent city sidewalks. Give your puppy the chance to develop a tolerance for loud engines, horns, cyclists, pedestrians, and other walking dogs.
Visit the vet, the groomer, the pet retailer, and the kennel so that your puppy can familiarize herself with the smells, sounds, and sights of these places.
Know where, in your town, welcome mats are put out for dogs. Often, banks, pet stores, and hardware stores will welcome your puppy. Give your puppy plenty of time to meet and greet, and get treats from, the proprietors and patrons of these establishments.
The clicker Use puppy training tips you ' ve learned to Reinforce bravery. If she remains calms in spite of thunderous noise or stranger's hands, click and reward her confidence.
In a situation that elicits puppy fear, with noises, strange smells, or unfamiliar sights, do not reward her fear by comforting her. This sends the message that her fearful behavior is desirable, and should be repeated in the future. Only reward her when she's showing the confidence that's desirable in these situations.
Do not force a puppy to take part in a scenario that is causing fear. Instead, talk to the stranger, or stand tall in the face of a noisy motor, and she will take a cue from you. When she finally does relax and join in, click and offer a reward.
Many times, pet owners find that they are not physically able to take their puppies out into the wide world. If you find that this is your case, hire a top dog trainer, or even a dog walker, who will socialize your puppy properly. Invite friends with children and animals to your home to meet your puppy. If you do not take these steps, your puppy could grow to become a dog who is uncomfortable with, and possibly aggressive toward, visitors.
Every walk, every ride, and every introduction puts your puppy in a better place. Each experience will contribute to her ultimately friendly, confident, and calm adult demeanor.
If you've ever walked into a room full of strangers, you know how unnerving it can be. This mirrors your dog's emotions. But you can change that, with puppy socialization. Dog obedience training victory, and a first class dog human relationship, rely on it.