Choosing a dog as a pet, while very gratifying, can also prove to be a challenge. This is because they require an insane amount of time and patience to be habilitated into the human community. Dog training can be difficult to manage if one is not aware of the attributes that must be polished in a dog, especially when dealing with a puppy.
With a puppy in question, it is important to develop its characteristics from an early age. During the so called “sensitive period” which is highlighted as the early life, puppies learn about the phenomenon of normalcy in the world. They are not, however, ignorant to fear or even trauma, but in general they seem to accept whatever they have a pleasant encounter with. It is almost as if they develop a catalog of sounds, sights, smells and experiences that fall under the heading of “safe”, just as a newborn baby would respond to the world.
Puppies, at an early age, go through a critical period of socialization between 8 and 16 weeks of age. During this period of time, they mature very rapidly. If isolated from external present stimuli and not exposed to the outside world, they can grow up to be fearful adult dogs.
According to research, litters of puppies raised in an isolated location such as a barn, a garage or an isolated dog kennel often have little or no exposure to humans, except those feeding them. If puppies never leave their confined, inaccessible quarters where they have been raised; they may never experience any external stimuli such as automobiles, strangers, loud noises or children running and playing.
The key to proper socialization is to make sure your puppy gets exposed to everything that he may ever come across during his lifetime, while he is still young, in order to increase his awareness and acceptance.
You can start by taking your puppy to different places; in your arms, on a leash or in the car. Certain places like the park is a good starting point as it is not very crowded, and has less chances of overwhelming your dog. You can also experiment with places like the mall, the gas station or the bus station.
Another way to normalize your dog into society is to introduce him to a lot of people. Encourage children to pet your puppy and feed him a treat. People who use wheelchairs, delivery truck drivers, children should not seem extraordinary to your dog.
Furthermore, taking this a step further, you should also try and familiarize your puppy with other animals. Initially, it is a good idea to start with other dogs, for example keep a play date with another puppy and see how they respond to each other.
These exercises are what we (OffLeash K9 Training) specializes in during our Puppy consults. Acting as the top dog training institute in Mississippi, we offer private one-on-one lessons for dog training and have acquired quite a reputation among proud dog owners who have trouble socializing their dogs properly.
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