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Puppy Socialisation - Having Fun With Your New Puppy

Posted by Admin Saturday, September 1, 2018 0 comments
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Bringing home a new puppy is a bundle of fun. Puppy socialization is the most important thing you need to focus on before your puppy reaches the age of 12 weeks. This puppy socialization period is known as the 'window of opportunity' because it is the time period when puppies learn best how to cope with the unknown. Therefore, the more people, puppies, objects, noises and environments the puppy can be exposed to during this period, the better. Puppy socialization to these new experiences helps the puppy to be a lot more confident as an older dog when subjected to unfamiliar events.

A lot of puppy socialization can occur in the home environment - exposure to loud banging noises, such as clanging pots and pans, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, lawn mowers, etc.

Ask any visitor that comes to visit to handle the puppy all over; touching the paws and feeling in between the toes; playing with the ears; giving restrained hugs; playing with the mouth and opening the mouth placing your finger on the puppy's tongue.

If at all possible expose your puppy to children and teach them how to handle the puppy properly. Always make sure when children and puppies are playing together that they are supervised. You don't want the children to play too roughly with the puppy and you don't want the puppy getting so hyped up by antics of children and becomes out of control.

Puppy socialization can also include making funny faces and stupid noises at puppies; exposing them to skateboards, bikes, wheelie bins and other moving objects.

Noises of airplanes, loud machinery, children screaming, babies crying, radios blaring are generally everyday occurrences that your puppy may experience in later life. CD's are available with all sorts of noises, including thunder which is something that is not always available for the puppy to get used to.

Puppy preschool or kindergarten is a great avenue for socialization with other puppies of a similar age. However, the conflict arises from the question of puppy vaccinations "is it safe to take a puppy out during this time?" This is a dilemma because on the one hand you want to train your puppy to be sociable but keep the puppy safe at the same time.

Some opinions and advice will be to not allow the puppy outside of the home environment until he/she is fully vaccinated.

The risk of having a dog that is fearful and not well socialized to people and other dogs is a very real possibility if you follow this advice. Ultimately, as the owner of the new puppy, you need to weigh up the pros and cons of both sides and make that decision for yourself. I have seen the result from both sides, having had a dog who was dog aggressive as we were not able to attend puppy socialization classes at the time when he was a puppy (they simply weren't around) and having a dog who turned out to be completely sociable who also didn't attend puppy socialization class for the same reason.
If you do decide to attend puppy socialization classes do some research first and find one that you feel comfortable with. Puppy play should be strictly supervised - a puppy preschool can make or break your puppy. You might like to find out the following:

how much space is available for puppy play
whether the class instructor has any dog training experience
observe how puppies are handled
are positive reinforcement methods used to help puppies to learn
are the off leash puppy play sessions intermittent and carefully supervised or is it just a free-for-all
is there a restriction on number of puppies in a classThese are just a few questions to consider.

Whatever you do - if you are out and about with your puppy make sure you carry him/her in public areas and not allow him/her to walk on the ground as this is how they can pick up the nasty diseases.

Puppy socialization exercises can and should be fun for you as well as the puppy. Help the puppy to learn to associate good things with what you are doing. Using high value food treats is a great way to make this association, however be careful not to over-feed the puppy. Keep practice sessions short and sweet and finish on a good note.

For example, you might examine the puppy's ears, give a food treat and that session is over. Then a little while later you might play with the puppy's feet, give the puppy a treat and finish there. There is a lot of little socialization exercises that are easy to incorporate into every day life.

Don't overload your puppy with too much at once, and give him/her time out to be on his own in a crate or puppy play pen to settle and be calm, especially when there is a lot of activity with child play.

Having lots of fun with all of these socializing exercises helps the puppy to feel relaxed and calm about everything he/she gets exposed to and goes a long way towards building a strong bond between you and all family members.

Building a strong bond between you and your new puppy will ensure that you will have a dog who is safe, well-mannered and will become a valued member of the family and community. Discover how you can get things right from the start by claiming your FREE copy of 7 Keys To Having A Safe, Well-Mannered Dog Who You Can Take Anywhere And Be Proud Of.

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