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Socializing with your dog

Socializing your dog is part of the whole dog training picture. Combined with good pack leadership and good obedience, socializing your dog will make him a well-rounded member of your family.

What is socializing?

Your dog, beginning around 3 weeks of age, starts to sort out and learn how to deal with different forms of stimuli. These different forms of stimuli can be anything from humans to different animals, or simply a different environment. The idea behind socialization is to make these NEW experiences pleasant and manageable for your dog.

Keep in mind that just taking your dog to the local dog park may not be the best idea for this part of his training in the beginning. You want to do your best to make sure that you have a fairly controlled environment to socialize your dog in. I can't count the number of times that clients have called me after their dog had a BAD experience either at the dog park or at the local doggie play date. The reason is always the same: they simply didn't know how the other dogs there would react their dog. CONTROL YOUR VARIABLES.

If your dog has a pleasant experience in new settings with people and with animals, the effects on him will be positive and long lasting. Similarly, if your dog has a bad experience with these new settings, the effects on him will also be long lasting.

Dogs of all ages need socialization. Most owners look into socializing their puppy, but socializing is important throughout your dog's life.

Keep it pleasant and non stressful and keep it going to keep the positive results flowing.

- Set up a play date with dogs you know aren't aggressive to other dogs.

- Introduce non-threatening people to your dog gently and ask that they not look, talk, or touch the dog for the first 5 or 10 minutes that they meet.

- Let the dog investigate on his own or put him in his crate.

- When going to new places keep your dog on a leash and take it slow. Remember to not over-stimulate him. Work into heavier stimuli such as crowds or new animals gradually. Start from a distance and work your way towards the stimuli.

- Do it often for short periods of time.

This article should get you going on your way to having a well rounded dog. Good luck, and remember: a couple of minutes a day goes a LONG way.

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We always cover any nagging behavior problems that you are experiencing as well, such as: Housebreaking, Jumping, Barking, Nipping and Biting, Destructive Chewing.

We also extensively cover the ins and outs of Housebreaking and Crate Training your dog.


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Dog Obedience in Massachusetts
Absolute K9 Solutions
Massachusetts Dog Training Services
2001 - 2012

109 Mass Ave | Lunenburg MA 01462

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