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Socialization and You!

So·cial·i·za·tion noun 1. the process of learning to behave in a way that is acceptable to society.

 

If you could only do one thing with your new furry friend and one thing only I would choose socialization over and over. Sure your pup can learn to sit, down, stay, recall, and walk nice but if your furry friend doesn't know how to handle the world then most of that will go right out the window. It's something that everyone gets wrong (yes even dog trainers) and is vastly overlooked. It's skills that can't be trained in home overnight and really is probably the hardest part of raising a puppy.


But what is socialization?

In dog training socialization is the act of taking your dog to places to help them learn how to appropriately behave in various settings, around different people, and with different levels of distraction around them. What most people do with this is letting their dog say hi to every single person and dog. The result of this is a dog who, although friendly, tends to burst with energy and become frustrated when person or dog cannot be met. While the opposite of never letting the dog interact with any person or dog can lead to a dog who is unsure or even afraid of people outside of your circle and dogs.


Okay, how do I do it the right way?

Imagine a scale from 1-10 where 1 is the most awful frighting experience and 10 is the best thing you can imagine. What we really aim for when socializing our dogs is for a neutral 5 experience. That way we can make the experience positive but not so exciting that our dog goes into a frenzy next time they encounter that stimulus.


This means going at your dog's pace and being your dog's advocate. As a new puppy owner you will be bombarded with comments of "Can I pet your dog?" and unfortunately you will have to tell them no sometimes. We want to make sure that the people who pet our dogs can listen to us and follow directions. We don't want the person who goes "I LOVE THEM, Please! Let me pet them!" and whips our dog up into a frenzy. We also don't want to shove our dog into a situation that terrifies them. Finding that balance and working through it slowly will make for a stable dog who can handle a variety of environments.


For a complete plan for your dog feel free to schedule a consult or session! We can find what pace works best for your dog and what we need to work on.



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