Proper Socialization for your Puppy:
We all know that puppy socialization is a critical step toward having a well-behaved and happy dog. With things like dog parks, doggie daycare, and so many pet-friendly stores it seems like the options are endless. While all of these can be great ways to expose your dog to new dogs and people, there are few things we should keep in mind in order to prevent some bad habits.
Most daycares are structured and supervised. Staff members watch interactions to help stop things like aggression or bullying. This helps to give our dogs a chance to play while having certain boundaries enforced.
Dog parks don’t have any staff or supervision aside from other owners. This is important to remember because while they can be a great place to let our dog run and play, we need to be sure to watch them at all times so that any inappropriate behavior can be stopped quickly. There may also be dogs there are not being supervised well. If you feel uncomfortable, or if think that there may be too much rough play or too many unsupervised dogs around, don’t’ hesitate to wait and try a different day or time. Keeping social interactions positive and fun is important to build confidence and socialness.
Pet-friendly stores like Bass Pro Shops, Scheels, and Pet Supplies Plus are great places to get your dog some social exposure, and even work on training in new environments. In order to be good examples, we should remember to keep our dogs under control and polite while they are out with us. There will be all kinds of people, kids, and even other dogs that want to come say hello to your pup, this is perfectly fine to allow if your dog seems comfortable with it. One point to remember is that while letting them greet some people is great, you shouldn’t make a habit of allowing them to run up and say hello to everyone they see. Not everyone will want to say hello to your furry companion, and being able to remain focused and attentive to commands around other people and dogs is an important skill, especially when that little pup grows up.