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How to Socialize Puppies and Dogs

Socialization is the process during which the puppy develops relationships with other living beings in its environment. 

puppy resting

Why is Socialization Important?

The experiences that it has during the first four months of life will dramatically influence its adult personality. To prevent asocial behaviour, fear and biting, it is very important for a puppy to have frequent positive experiences with everyone it meets during these early months.  Be sure to avoid physical punishment and any interactions with people that make it anxious. Puppies who receive insufficient socialization to people, other animals and new environments during their first four months may develop irreversible fears, leading to timidity and aggression.

It is important, therefore, for every puppy to meet as many people as possible in a variety of situations. To facilitate introductions, encourage each person who meets the puppy to give it a biscuit. This will teach the puppy to look forward to meeting people and discourage handshyness, since the puppy will learn to associate new friends mad an outstretched hand with something positive. Once the puppy has learned to sit on command, have a new friend ask it to sit before giving the biscuit. This teaches a proper greeting

and will make the puppy less likely to jump up on people. Be certain that the puppy had the opportunity to meet and receive biscuits from a wide variety of people of all ages, races, appearance and both sexes during the fist few formative months.

Introducing a new pet to the house?

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Special Note on Using Treats to Win a Pet's Affection

Since obesity is a dangerous condition for growing dogs, biscuits should never be used merely as a snack or to win the pet’s affection. Your puppy will actually develop a closer attachment to you if you show your leadership and only provide treats and attention when it earns them.

Additional References to help New Puppy Owners

  • How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With. C. Rutherford and D. Neil. Alpine Publications, Loveland Colorado, 1981

  • The Art of Raising a Puppy. Monks of New Skete. Little, Brown & Co. Boston, 1991.

  • Sirius Puppy Training. Ian Dunbar, DVM. Puppy training video. Center for Applied Animal Behaviour, 2140 Shatuck Ave, #2406, Berkley, CA. 94704. 510/658-8588

  •  Super Puppy. Peter Vollmer. SuperPuppy Publications. PO Box 463030, Escondido, Ca 92046-3030

  • How to Play with Your Dog. Peter Vollmer. SuperPuppy Publications, PO Box 463030, Escondido, CA 92046-3030

  • Hey, Where is the Respect? Denise Holowenko

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