Encouraging proper socialization skills with your new puppy
July 12, 2012
Making the decision to adopt a puppy from a New York animal shelter can certainly be a life-changing experience, and you are now truly a dog parent to your new companion. In the same way that you try to instill good qualities in your children, you'll want to encourage proper behavior when caring for your dog. Socialization is a very important aspect of your young puppy's life, and getting him or her comfortable around other people and canines will help you in the long run. Here are a few ways to get the process started.
1. Start with smaller groups. According to Paw-Rescue.org, it may be best to start off slow with your pooch to gauge his or her response to certain situations. Between the ages of eight to 12 weeks, this is what's known as a "fear imprinting" stage, when certain experiences can have a lasting effect, so you'll have to tread lightly. Start by taking walks around your neighborhood and seeing how your puppy interact with groups of people and other dogs. This will give you a sense of how the dog will react when placed in a more engaging situation.
2. Getting used to everyday sounds. There are many things that we take for granted in our everyday routine that could be downright scary to a dog. For instance, if you live in the city, consider leaving the windows open so your pooch can get used to the sound of passing trucks, honking horns and other loud noises. Additionally, even music, shouting or everyday sounds like alarm clocks can be puzzling to your puppy, so try to put you and your dog into controlled situations where he or she can understand that these noises aren't threats.
3. A trip to the dog park. When it's finally time to graduate to larger groups of canines, you may want to start off your trip to the dog park by keeping your dog on his or her leash. This will allow him or her to mingle with the other dogs, while still having a sense of security knowing that you're there.
4. A dog obedience class. One of the best ways to get your dog used to interacting with other humans and canines is to try out a canine obedience class. Training Programs at Bideawee might be a great choice if you're in the New York City area and could be a key step in your dog's socialization process.