How Do I Socialize My Puppy? – Dog Training – Dog Trainer – Behaviorist
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QUESTION: “How do I socialize my puppy?”
WRONG ANSWER FROM YOUR DOG TRAINER: “The way I teach it is to control everything the dog does and show it that I’m the one in control… Don’t let strangers pet your puppy… And make sure your dog is fully engaged, fully in drive, whenever you are with your dog. And don’t let your dog play with strange dogs.”
Wrong. Sorry. Wrong. Oh my GOSH, I can’t even begin to understand where these people get the idea that they are even qualified to give advice out to students. A great way to crush a puppy is to overly control it. It is also a great way to so totally frustrate and worry a puppy, triggering many behavioral problems that will leak out over the years. You’ll make a dog neurotic by putting that much control on them all the time. Then, by not letting strangers pet your puppy, you are setting your dog up for being fearful or aggressive when the dog is handled by guests, veterinarians, groomers, or some random kid that happens to come up and touch your dog. And by always keeping a dog focused on food, toys, excitement and games whenever the dog is out of the crate or kennel will make the dog hyperactive, even more stressed, hectic, and abnormal. If you think you have to do all this to have a competitive dog, then you purchased a dog with poor genetics to start with. You are trying, artificially, to make the dog into something it never was. Or, you are into overkill mode, thinking that you can contain nature in such a way to create some kind of superdog. What you’ll end up with is a miserable dog, possibly even with health problems as a result. Lastly, not letting your dog learn social skills with friendly strange dogs will turn your adult dog into a dog that isn’t good with other dogs. If this advice is being given to you by a breeder, you can bet that they are trying to hide the temperament weaknesses of their dogs. There is no way you need to control any dog like this. I’m betting the reason that the breeder wants you to limit your dog’s interaction with strange people and strange dogs is so the dog’s weak temperament won’t be so obvious, and when it is an adult, all that snarling and growling will be said to be a good thing. And doing extreme things to make the dog focus and work indicate a dog without that much potential.
PLEASE READ: How To Socialize Your Puppy Or Adult Dog