So, you’ve just adopted the most wonderful puppy, begun to housetrain him, and have set your sights on teaching him to give you a high-five. What’s next? One important skill that many puppies these days don’t learn is how to be social. Puppies that are socialized will be friendlier, less aggressive, and less frightened of new people, places, and other pups. Likewise, socializing your dog is an important step to take in his training.
Puppies can begin to be socialized around 8 weeks old; any earlier is not recommended. Keep in mind that it isn’t a good idea to bring your pup to a public place to begin socialization training until he’s had all of his shots. Make sure you talk to your vet about an immunization schedule before you bring your puppy to the local dog park. You can begin socializing him by having friends and family visit your home (but ask them to leave their shoes outside in case they stepped in anything that might be harmful to your pup!).
Make sure to expose your puppy to different kinds of people, young and old. Teach kids the proper way to approach and pet your puppy, so that an overly excited scratch isn’t misinterpreted as aggression.
You can play games with treats to get your puppy engaged with your guests, like having everyone sit in a circle with kibble. Have one person at a time call the pup’s name and reward him with a bit of kibble and lots of petting and praise. This will teach your pup that it’s a good thing to approach new people!
Make sure to keep an eye on your pup during these socialization sessions. If he is cowering, yawning, tucking his tail in, or hiding from new people he may be a bit stressed out and need a break from all the excitement.
Socializing your puppy can be a fun part of his training, and it will help him to develop into a curious, kind, and friendly canine. Want to learn more about caring for your dachshund puppy? Give me a call today for more information!