Most puppy and dog owners are not unaware that a puppies personality is normally formed between the ages of birth to 1 year of age. Therefore, it is crucial that your new puppy is socialized properly. Your puppy will need to become accustomed to as many different scenarios and people as possible during the early stages of his development, in order to bring out the best traits within him.
In this article, we will share with you the 7 effective ways to fastrack socializing your puppy and give you the correct puppy playbook for smart puppy training. Every pet needs special attention and as it mentions in Ultimate Pet Hub, pets respond better to love and affection.
Remember socialising a puppy is a marathon, not a sprint and different puppies will respond uniquely to every environment they are in. Patience will be important as you learn to manage your expectation while interacting and promoting each new environment with your puppy.
7 Ways To Fast Track Socializing A Puppy | Puppy Interaction Playbook
1. Take Him Everywhere
One of the easiest ways to socialize a puppy is to take him out with you wherever you go. Allow your puppy to learn his neighborhood as well as new sites too. Puppies should be exposed to new sounds, animals and people, as this will ensure that your puppy will grow up to be a much happier and friendlier member of your family.
However, you should use caution whenever you introduce your puppy to other dogs. Learn as much as you can about the particular characteristics of your puppy’s breed. For example, if your puppy’s breed is well known to be aggressive, you should be extra careful when introducing him to other, older dogs.
2. Nip it in the bud
Should your puppy growl at any friend or family member, do not pick him up and hold him, as this will be seen by him as a reward for growling. Your puppy will then learn that the appropriate reaction to fear is to growl. This is not good as growling can eventually lead to biting, and you certainly do not want to be responsible for your puppy biting any of your friends or family members when he gets older.
Make sure you correct his growling by firmly saying “No” as soon as he growls. Then you can slowly introduce him to the person/dog so that he can see that there is nothing to fear.
3. Don’t over parent
It is also important to remember that puppies love to play, and will sometimes chew on your fingers with a playful growl. This type of playful behavior is known as ‘teething’ and is perfectly normal for a young pup to do. This is especially the case if you’ve adopted your puppy from young. So do not confuse this normal behavior with the defensive fear growl mentioned above.
When introducing your puppy to babies or children, allow your puppy to smell them first. This will create the beginning of a bond between your puppy and the child. Never tolerate any growling when it comes to children as this could result in your puppy thinking that he has a more dominant role in your family.
4. Interaction is Key!
As most dog trainers, behaviorists, and veterinarians will tell you, socialization is key to raising a well-behaved and well-adjusted dog. It is very important to introduce your puppy to a variety of different people, environments, and other animals. Not only will it be fun for you and your puppy to explore new situations together, but it will also prepare each of you to handle whatever the future brings with grace and ease.
However, despite the significance of socialization, it is possible to overdo the procedure. Be sure to learn your dog’s personal signs of anxiety or feeling overwhelmed.
5. Look for early signs of stress
Dogs, like people, demonstrate their feelings and moods in a variety of different ways. In all honesty, the behaviors are really quite individualistic to each dog. However, there are many common factors that may be signs of distress. Learning the basic signs of distress can help guide you in understanding your dog’s feelings.
Many times, an overwhelmed dog will suddenly become hyperactive. These dogs are literally trying to outrun or outplay their discomfort. Other dogs will demonstrate the exact opposite and become very withdrawn. Yet other dogs will begin panting or yawning in discomfort or nervousness. Some dogs will become very irritable, snapping, nipping, or barking aggressively at other people and dogs.
When introducing your dog to new experiences, play the edge. Try to avoid taking your dog away from the situation too soon, or you might both miss out on valuable lessons.
Nevertheless, when you notice the above signs of distress brewing within your dog, it is important to remove your dog from the experience. Otherwise, your dog will be set back in his training and will have to work even harder to overcome the stress.
6. Focus on positivity
A puppy is learning from you and it’s environment every single day. This means that they will make mistakes, have hiccups and may test your nerves. Try to focus on the positive experiences and the small things that are leading to bigger changes.
An example of this would be barking loudly in the house. As everything is new and they are very excited they are prone to speak loudly at different times of day (and night). As they get more familiar with their environment and what is expected of them these loud outbursts will stop.
7. Don’t forget to Play at home (with other dogs)
If you have access to dog friends or a dog group that it’s important you find the time to socialise your dog at home. Too often people feel that socializing means going outside of the home but in reality, you can have just as significant impact bringing the fun home.
There is a risk of your dog becoming territorial at home but this is even more of a reason to have a doggie play date to teach your puppy the basic fundamentals of interacting with other dogs both outside their environment and within.
Raising a puppy is both exciting for you and your family, as well as your dog. It is important to keep the excitement at a manageable level for you and your little pet so that you can keep training on track and to build a healthy life for your puppy.