The Dog Training POV Series with Trevor Smith - Puppy Socialization | Pupford
July 12th, 2023
Filed under Training
If you get your dog as a puppy, one of the most important things that you can do for yourself and your dog is to work on socialization as early as possible. To people, dogs, other animals, and more.
But if your dog is not a puppy, these tips can still be helpful to you!
In this episode of the Dog Training POV Series, Trevor Smith CPDT-KA talks about socialization for puppies. He covers:
- Why socialization is important
- How to socialize your dog
- What to do if your dog is fearful / overly excited
OVERVIEW OF PUPPY SOCIALIZATION
Trevor’s goal with Bolt was to make sure he was comfortable around people, dogs, and his environment.
To help with that, Trevor took Bolt to a lot of different environments where he could have positive experiences with these things.
Note: When it comes to socializing your dog with other dogs, you want to make sure that the other dog is comfortable around puppies, as you want to keep your pup’s experience with other dogs very positive!
Check out this puppy socialization bingo to give you ideas for socializing your dog.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR DOG REACTS TO OTHER DOGS
Even if you feel like you did everything right, your dog can still show signs of fear around other dogs/people/different environments.
This is called a . While it doesn’t happen at the same age for all dogs, it is quite common in dogs. It can last a month or can be a long-lasting training issue. It is important to work through this issue and not just hope that your dog will just .
Luckily, there are steps you can take to try to work through this.
You want to take your time and be patient with your dog as you are going through this process. Don’t rush the process, don’t force your dog to meet every person or dog they see.
Make sure to work at a comfortable distance away from whatever your dog is fearful of.
PLAY THE ENGAGE DISENGAGE GAME
- Make sure not to push them over their threshold, and start at a distance that your dog is okay with. Maybe that is 50ft or 100ft.
- When your dog looks at the trigger without reacting, give them reinforcement.
- Repeat this.
- When they look at the trigger, then look at you, reward them!
MISTAKE TO AVOID
When your dog starts to feel relaxed or comfortable you move closer to the trigger. So your dog will start to realize that when they are relaxed, the trigger is closer to them but when they bark the trigger is further away. So they may start to bark more if they aren’t comfortable! So it is so important to work at their pace!
HAVE PLAYDATES WITH SOCIAL DOGS
Depending on your dog’s level of fear behavior, another thing you can do is go to a park or somewhere else that is fenced with friendly dogs and let them run around and have fun!
IF YOUR DOG IS AGGRESSIVE AROUND OTHER DOGS/PEOPLE
If you’re not sure how your dog would react being that close to other people or dogs, don’t let your pup roam free with other dogs. You want to make sure your dog, you, other dogs, and people are safe, so don’t push it.
Reach out to a professional in your area that can help you work through that behavior.
There are so many different challenges that come along with being a pup parent. That is why we have resources in place to help you through puppy training, socialization, dog training, first aid, and so much more. Check out our to access more videos from this series and many others.
Thanks for following along! Let us know if you have any questions about puppy socialization in the comments below.