Proper Socialization: What it is, and what it isn’t!

Whether you just got a new puppy, or you adopted an older dog, it’s important to keep in mind that their whole world has just been turned upside down. And while you may have the best of intentions, your dog/puppy needs more than just lots of love and affection to become the best canine companion he or she can be! Here are some basic tips:

Not everyone needs to pet your dog/puppy. 

It is much better for a dog/puppy to have calm relations with strangers than to have everyone pet him or her and behave in a way that may be seen as threatening or rude. Things like speaking in a high-pitched voice, petting roughly, crouching over them, can be scary for a little dog/puppy. This can lead to aggression later if the dog/puppy feels trapped and needs to defend itself.

Your dog/puppy doesn’t need to say hi to every dog 

or person it sees. 

If you allow your dog/puppy to drag you over to every dog you encounter, they will come to expect it every time, regardless of what you or the other dog thinks. Not every dog is keen on having a rambunctious dog/puppy nipping at them – this can make them uncomfortable and can lead to serious consequences. It can also cause overexcitement while on leash, which can lead to hostile behaviour while on leash. This is one of the reasons dogs become aggressive when on leash in the first place.

Your dog/puppy doesn’t need to play with every dog or person it sees. 

Not all dogs like puppies, not all dogs like other dogs. To teach your dog/puppy how to behave around other dogs, he or she must first learn how to be calm when meeting new dogs. It is not playtime.

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