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Secrets of Socializing Your Dog!

Feb 10, 2008
Socializing is always a big issue with dog owners. There are a variety of views on socialization, but after breeding and raising dogs for over 15 years I can say that the earlier they are socialized the more confident and reliable they will be in any situation. Just by making sure dogs are exposed to a variety of situations in a positive way can increase success with socialization.

Socialization should start ideally before the pup is even weaned. A responsible breeder will make sure pups are handled regularly and exposed to a variety of activities. It may not be possible to take them out and about town if there are quite a few pups, but it is still possible to handle them and let them hear household noises such as vacuum cleaners, blenders, etc. If you are talking with a breeder about purchasing a puppy you should question them about how they socialize their puppies before they sell them.

Once you bring your dog home, whether it is full grown or whether it is a puppy you should allow it to experience everything you will normally (or even occasionally) be exposed to when the dog is with you. For those who live in the city exposing them to the noise of traffic and many varieties of people early on is the key to having a dog that is free of fear. Introduce these things gradually and make every new experience a fun one for your dog.

Encourage your dog to climb stairs, ride elevators (if you will ever have to do that with your dog), and even take your dog for rides in the car to fun places. Your dog should ride in the car to do fun things especially if you use the car for trips to the vet. Most dogs will not enjoy a visit to the vet and will start to be difficult about riding in the car if that is the only place they ever go in the car.

If your dog shows fear it is your responsibility to demonstrate that there is no need for fear. Ensure that every new situation is a positive experience. The more experiences your dog has, especially at a young age the more likely he is to face new situations with interest instead of fear. Your dog will be comfortable in any situation once you have taken the steps to properly socialize him.
About the Author
Annette Phillips

Annette has 15 years experience in dog training & breeding. She is the owner of ACE Barkery which offers top of the line dog treats at reasonable prices. She offers a free newsletter including tips for dog training & keeping your dog healthy and happy. http://www.acebarkery.com
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