There are lots of dogs today who are fearful, scared of people, afraid when they leave their house, and who lack confidence. In many cases dogs have this kind of timid, frightened personality because they weren’t well-socialized when they were puppies. Puppy socialization can make an enormous difference in the way your dog behaves as an adult. You can build his confidence and help him be much friendlier to people as an adult dog if you take the time to socialize your puppy when he’s young. Here are some ways that you can socialize your puppy.
1. Take your puppy with you when you go places.
You can take your puppy with you to many places that welcome friendly dogs and puppies such as pet supply stores and parks. Take treats with you and ask friendly strangers to pet your puppy and give him a treat. Teach your puppy to politely meet friendly strangers. Your puppy can also learn to meet other friendly dogs and puppies while he and they are on leash. Be sure to ask permission first because no one likes a puppy or dog to jump up in their face.
If you take your puppy to parks he can learn about kids playing and see things like squirrels and rabbits. He can see balloons and umbrellas and other unexpected things. The more unusual, unexpected things he sees at this age, the better. The important thing is that you don’t coddle your puppy if he gets scared. Instead, laugh at funny things that happy and show him that everything is okay. Encourage him to be brave and explore things. The purpose of this kind of socialization is to build your puppy’s confidence.
One place where you should not take your puppy is a dog park. Young puppies are too small to visit dog parks and they could be injured by bigger dogs. The things you do with your puppy during socialization should be supervised so nothing bad happens to your puppy or you could undermine the good things you are trying to teach him.
2. Enroll your puppy in a puppy preschool class
. Puppy preschool classes and puppy kindergarten classes are classes held by kennel clubs, pet stores, animal shelters, and go trainers especially for young puppies so they can socialize with other puppies. They can also interact with other friendly puppy owners and get some petting and playing. Plus, they can learn some basic manners. Some classes even teach a few basic commands. They are great places for puppy socialization.
3. Sign up for an obedience class
. Whether you take your puppy to a puppy preschool class or not, an obedience class is a great way to socialize a puppy or young dog. Your dog will learn some basic obedience which is a good way to build confidence. And working with your dog gives the two of you more time together for bonding. Spending time together in class also provides an opportunity for your dog to learn how to behave in public around other dogs and people.
4. Take part in dog activities and sports together
. Doing fun things together with your puppy is a great way to work on your puppy’s socialization. There are lots of things you can do together that you and your puppy might enjoy: agility, flyball, frisbee, rally, water sports, musical freestyle, and the list goes on and on. Look for an activity that you and your puppy can do together and have fun!
These are some of the best ways to socialize your puppy but there are lots more. The more things you do together with your puppy, the better. Spending time doing things with you, getting out of the house and seeing the world will help build your puppy’s confidence and make him a happy, well-adjusted dog as an adult.