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Dog and Puppy Socialization: Great No Matter Our Age

June 27, 2009

If you know this 10-pound mutt, and my mom the rockin’ certified professional ventura dog trainer, then you know we’re all about proper puppy socialization! But what does dog and puppy socialization really mean? Well, I’m here to tell you…

Similar to taking young children out into the world when they’re young, just so they can adapt more easily to their environment, and just like enrolling children  in tons of activities like music lessons, sports activities, arts and crafts, reading programs, after school programs, day care, pre-school etc…it’s important to take us dogs out when we’re young. Whether it be to dog training classes, dog social play groups, or friends houses.

This doesn’t mean to endanger us in any way… mom and I would never suggest that! But taking us in the car to different places. Or taking us to places where we can sit in our humans lap and be exposed to the environment – different smells, sights, sounds, even getting to say hello to all types of people is a great way to teach us how to adapt to the industrial revolution. After all, if you want us dogs to conform to your human world as adults, it’s much easier to do so if you start us out young… but then again, it’s never too late – as long as you make it fun!

Mom has been working with lots of puppies in her private dog training sessions as well as her dog training classes and dog training workshops for new puppies. She keeps stressing the importance of the above mentioned steps – fortunately, her savvy clients have been on top of their game and following her suggestions. Oh boy are those poochies going to be some easy going dogs – they’ll probably get to go to lots of places when they’re older since they’re starting out now! What great moms and dads they have… Just like mine.

Just today dad took me to one of my favorite places – I got to meet a new canine pal – it was great! I got to play, make friends, and socialize. Even though I’m older, I still like doing new things…as long as it’s fun and not forced and not scary.

I wonder when we’re going back? I wonder if I’ll get to see my new friend again? I wonder if next time dad can ask if we can get together for a play-date? Hmm, something for this inquisitive canine to ponder.


4 Responses to Dog and Puppy Socialization: Great No Matter Our Age

  1. larry says:

    We have just purchased a new lab pup and the problem is we have a 4 yr ols shitzu female that will not take to the new puppy..we have taken them for walks intruduced them to a neatruel area and they still get into fights..Any suggestions in to how we can make this work .had the puppy 3 weeks and really dont want to let her go..Our vet gaves us your pamplet and said you could give us advise to what to do..
    Would be greatly appreciated Thank you

  2. joan says:

    Congratulations on the adoption of your new puppy! So far it sounds like you’re on the right track – keeping it neutral, going on outings that both dogs would enjoy. I would recommend you allow the dogs to set the pace on how quickly they want to develop a friendship. You’ll also want to make sure all interactions are pleasant and fun, for both of them – especially the older one. Allow both dogs to communicate in their species specific language, trying not to interrupt – unless danger is on the horizon. Keep the puppy busy doing other things to keep her physically and mentally fit. This is a link to one of our posts that discusses sibling rivalry. It contains dog training tips you might find helpful. http://www.noozhawk.com/article/061909_inquisitive_canine_a_dog_eat_dog_rivalry/ If you’re still in need of some advice, I’d be happy to help. Feel free to contact me directly about training options.

  3. Madelyn Atwood says:

    Two months ago, we acquired a 1 year old lab (mostly) and hound (small am’t) black dog. He’s very loving and energetic. We walk him about two hours a day in the woods near our home (or take him for swims). He likes to play with another dog (2 year old) who is smaller than he is (1/2 the size). They both run around alot, play-fight, and swim together. The problem is that our dog, Dylan, is a little rougher and usually rolls his friend over a half a dozen times. They also just walk together and amble along, but there’s lots of rough playing. The other dog is not wanting it to stop so we’ve let it go, but now the other owner is feeling like Dylan is too rough for his dog. I hate to give up this friendship for him. He really likes her. What do you recommend? Thanks so much in advance.

    • Joan the Dog Coach says:

      Hi there Madelyn,

      Great question – You have nice observation skills too! And, I have to applaud you for being aware of the dogs’ play style, as well as the preferences of the other dog parent.

      Considering that both dogs are playing consensually, I would only interrupt based on the other owners wishes – but do so before he has to ask you. Teaching Dylan to “self-interrupt” more often, coming over to check in with you. The best way to do this is to lure him away from play, give him a treat (something yummy) along with lots of praise and happy talk, then send him back in to play. You might need to have the other owner do the same – or you could treat both dogs. Of course you can always reward: petting, praise, treats etc..whenever Dylan he comes and checks in with you on his own.

      Hope this helps! Poncho and I invite you to join our Inquisitive Canine Facebook community (if you haven’t already) and post pics/videos, as we love “meeting” fellow dog families!

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