Socializing The Adopted Puppy Or Family Dog:
Praise is the “life blood” to a successful relationship with your dog -- it is physical and verbal woven together in correct proportion.
A poorly socialized dog is usually the reason for unpredictable or aggressive behavior. As guardian, it is your job to teach your dog to trust your judgment, bond with people, other dogs, and be comfortable in unfamiliar situations – all ingredients in the proper socialization of your dog.
Dog socialization is a life-long desensitization process. When your veterinarian declares your puppy fully inoculated, and it feels safe with you, start to introduce the puppy to the world. Lack of puppy socialization causes unnecessary fear, where the dog could bite, run away, cause damage, injure itself or others. Dog socialization means exposing your puppy to every possible sound, sight, situation. The goal is to eliminate the dog’s adverse reactions so it responds calmly and confidently in any situation.
Dog socialization and proper praise are key components in raising a sociable, behaved companion.
Puppy socialization isn't hard, have fun, patience, and the dog will learn. Dog owners are penalized by restrictive laws because other owners have not taken proper responsibility for their dogs’ socialization.
Socialization of puppies begins between 3 and 4 weeks, before people should bring their new puppies home, so some of the work is beyond your control. However, the prime socialization window is up to 12 weeks. Pleasant exposure to people, dogs and other animals during this time has long-lasting influence on your dog’s sociability. Socialize your dog with other dogs of the same age, or adult dogs of similar weight.
All members of the family are fellow pack members.
Dogs instinctively relate to pack-type of hierarchy, with the most dominant animal at the top. This is important because every pack has structured power relationships between members. The pack hierarchy creates a sense of family and security from which dogs gain confidence having someone to follow. If dogs have no dominant “alpha” leader in their human “pack,” they will learn they can jump on the couch or drag you on the leash, and some will decide they are running the show.
To have a peaceful relationship with your dog, establish yourself as leader from the start.
To be established as the leader is easy – most dogs look for leadership. Proper leadership is established psychologically, never through physical strength and abuse. Not all dogs wish to dominate, but when a dog is testing for dominance it must be stopped and corrected immediately.
Your response to dog-dominating behavior should leave no doubt in the dog’s mind that its attempt at dominating will not go unanswered and that it will feel discomfort. Discipline firmly, calmly and quickly, and be done. “Carrying on” becomes abusive and will not benefit the dog’s learning experience. Do not use physical intimidation or raise your voice to accomplish this. Shouting makes dogs nervous and provokes aggression. Dogs respond favorably and more attentively if you speak in quiet articulate tones. (Remember, dogs hear much better than people – they hear softer high and low pitches at greater distances.)
Children should be established early as dominant members of the pack.
The child can establish this dominance by feeding, enforcing simple commands, and holding the dog’s leash on walks provided the dog does not drag the child. A child’s participation in dog educating will help that child understand his own authority figures, when ground rules apply to him personally, making parents, teachers and other authority figures seem less overwhelming. Be aware that a child should not do anything to reinforce the dog’s ability or strength as being greater than the child’s.
Take your leashed dog out to walk the streets.
Take the dog with you everywhere; let it experience cars driving by, people walking past, the noises of everyday life. If certain people, animals, or places elicit a fearful reaction, re-visit those situations with your dog. Rewarding for appropriate behavior can be used to socialize the dog to fearful situations, be it strange dogs, strange places, grooming, or veterinarian visits. Your dog will gain confidence and keep a steady temperament wherever it is.
The key to keeping your puppy from doing what you do not want it to do is giving it a positive alternative, teaching it what you do want it to do. Try to catch your puppy doing something good and reward it with praise. Most of all, patience is key when socializing your dog to new situations. Ultimately, your puppy will want to please you and will begin to follow you everywhere.
On the subject of PUPPY TRAINING GUIDES
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