Socialize your dog with humans- One can never over-emphasize the value of socializing a puppy, but what exactly does it mean? And how does one do that? This article will clarify what socialization is and how to incorporate it to ensure that your dog has little, if any, behavioral issues later in life and is able to communicate with dogs and other species well.
One should never overemphasize the value of socializing a puppy, but what exactly does that mean?
Socialization is the mechanism by which a dog learns to understand and communicate with other individuals of their own species, with people of various ages, races and genders, and with other animals with which they are likely to come into contact, such as cats and horses. The dog must learn the requisite skills to communicate with and understand the actions of the other animals and thereby prevent needless conflicts. The dog will therefore learn to deal with stress in difficult circumstances and will suffer less as an adult. We also consider habituations when thinking about socialization, that is to say, having a dog used to different environments, sights and sounds so that she is comfortable in new situations and gets used to as many different stimuli as possible.
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There are some times that are more important in a puppy’s growth than others. The most vulnerable phase of socialization starts at around 3 weeks of age, and begins to decrease by 12 weeks. Max sensitivity is aged 6 to 8 weeks. It’s important to note that many young dogs require constant social contact in order to sustain their socialization, and failure to do so will cause them to relapse or again become fearful. The 6-8 month span is another critical time for socialization and this window should be used by parents and trainers to further habituate and socialize their puppy to different environments, people and animals.
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And, now we know why and when socialization will take place, we have to look at how to do that. It’s suggested that you expose your dog in a systematic and supervised way to new experiences and other people and pets. Remember that such formative encounters for the rest of her life will affect your pet’s behaviour, so the hope is that they should be enjoyable and pleasurable. They can be intimidating too, but if handled in the right way, the puppy will realize that there’s no danger and that she’s free to explore and encounter new friends and situations without fear. This means that she has the best chance of maintaining a healthy personality and coping potential in all circumstances.
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Of course, early socialization is in the breeder’s hands and if they are careful and diligent they must ensure that the puppies are treated regularly, as well as being subjected to common household stimuli such as television, vacuum cleaner, washing machine, doorbell etc. Puppies raised in a quiet kennel or space may have trouble adapting to a typical family environment.
And once the puppy is with you at home, it’s your responsibility to start exposing her to new people, animals and stimuli with care. However, introducing the puppy to new people, places, objects and situations is only important when you can fully control the experience. A frightening experience is going to be negative – avoid unfriendly dogs and adults and kids who don’t understand how to be compassionate and gentle with animals. Shortly after you have taken your puppy home, invite friends to your house to show her that visitors are nice and welcome into her new home. Giving the dog treat to your mates and she is praised. Introduce her to one or two other friendly, safe, completely vaccinated dogs – once she has all her vaccinations and has mastered some dog social skills and has conquered some anxiety, she will compete with bigger groups. Where your dog is afraid, upset or intimidated by another dog, be always ready to interfere.
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You need to consider your lifestyle and community when socializing your dog, and decide what circumstances are lacking. For example, if you live in the country, take your puppy down town and slowly and carefully let her get used to crowds of people, noise and traffic. But if you live in a city and these things are no problem, take your puppy to the countryside so that she can see and smell farm animals and get used to them too. Always sure that your dog knows all dog friendly animals. Don’t let her chase them because this will trigger a lifelong habit that’s going to be hard to break. If you have no kids in your home, introduce your puppy to some kids who can play gently with her regularly. Please supervise them to ensure that the kids are respectful and that the dog reacts well and doesn’t get anxious or violent.
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Please try to preserve the health of your dog, until it is completely vaccinated. Don’t put her down on the ground where dog feces or faeces might be present, and don’t let her play with other dogs who may bring disease. You will also socialize your puppy by taking her in different environments and taking her in the car, allowing her to see several different things in a secure environment, and at the same time she can get used to riding in the car. Using rewards and praise to encourage positive behaviour. Do not comfort your puppy if she is scared as this can be viewed as encouragement for wrong behavior. Simply change the situation (i.e. ask a person approaching to step back or pick up your puppy to get her out of a tough situation) before she feels safe and comfortable once again.
At this point, all interaction with your puppy includes regularly rewarding positive behavior which increases the probability that the dog will repeat this behavior. This can also help deter the development of undesirable behaviour.
Another important move would be to engage in socialization and training courses for puppies. It offers a perfect opportunity for puppies to socialize with other dogs, for puppies to practice obedience training in a fun atmosphere with plenty of opportunities and even for owners to practice the methods of training and communication.