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How to Socialize Your New Dog

 by petbucket on 04 Dec 2015 |
1 Comment(s)
Once you've prepared your home and chosen your dog, the next important steps are training and socialization. It is highly recommended that you take a short dog training course with a professional trainer. That will ensure basic obedience training is dealt with in a thorough and timely manner. Socializing your dog means getting him used to being around other people, animals and traffic. He will have to learn appropriate behavior in such situations. It is your job to teach him. Fortunately, most dogs are eager to please their owners and acquire new skills quickly.
For your dog's well-being, you should have him inoculated and micro-chipped at the earliest opportunity. Once you've done that, he can safely go out for walks. Socialization begins with habituation. It is important to expose your dog to a wide variety of situations every day so he can begin to get used to them.
Puppies are easier to teach as their young minds are still impressionable. An older dog can be more difficult to re-educate. However, with patience and care there should not be too many problems along the way.
Socializing your dog involves getting the balance right between discipline and confidence. A puppy's first experiences of the world at large can be overwhelming. He may be frightened of traffic, urban noise and other people. In this case, you need to help him build his confidence. The best way to do that is by showing him that you are not afraid. It is also important to reassure him with kind words and cuddles. On the other hand, he may need to learn to control his instincts. If the sight of every toddler, bird or other dog leads to him barking and pulling at the leash, then you will need to teach him discipline. 
When you discipline your dog, you should always be firm but never angry. Speak clearly and directly in a tone of command but never shout. In most cases, restraining your dog on the leash and giving him a verbal a command will be sufficient. In rare cases, it is acceptable to give him a short, sharp tap on the muzzle with your fingers. However, remember that the idea here is not to hurt your dog. The tap should be painless and serve only to ensure his attention to your verbal command.
When meeting other people, you should feel confident that your dog will not jump up at them. During first encounters, always keep your dog on a short leash and give him the command to 'sit'. If he tries to jump up, restrain him and give him the command, 'No'.  When he behaves correctly, give him a treat and tell him he's a good boy!
When meeting other dogs the same initial caution should be exercised.  Most dogs will greet one another with a bit of sniffing and tail-wagging. Occasionally, males can be more aggressive. Again, keep your dog on a short leash for the first encounter.  If he or the other dog becomes aggressive, walk away.
If you are out in the country, it is your responsibility to ensure that your dog doesn't trouble any livestock or wildlife. Always keep him on a leash. Even the quietest dog can be overwhelmed by the sudden instinct to give chase. As training progresses and you come to trust your dog, you will be able to let him run free in appropriate places but it is still your responsibility to be vigilant and restrain him as necessary. A combination of professional obedience training and daily education should result very quickly in a happy, trustworthy and well socialized dog.


Mindi - Comment
Mindi05 Dec 2015Reply
Great tips! I do think it is very important to make sure that you have the right leash and teach your dog to be really obedient. It's a lot of work but makes everyone happier and safer in the end. I take all my dogs through professional training first, when they're still pups. It really helps. What a fabulous, detailed post! Thank you. :)

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