As mans best friend, we want our dearly loved hound to be well behaved in the varied social situations he finds itself. This schooling needs to start while the fido is young. We want the hound not to be frightened or aggressive towards persons or other animals. Pooch socialisation is a key part of dog training.
Research at Veterinary Medicine College at Cornell showed that the first 12 weeks are critical, and the easiest for socialization. For many puppies this time is dealt with by the breeder. After that initial twelve weeks it is still important, but takes more time and effort and planning.
Dogs are so similar to us humans, if the first time is hurtful, we will avoid it or be worried at similar occasions, so take things slowly and small. Do not compel the puppy. If in doubt, stop and do it again later. Young pups rapidly tire and need to rest often, so do new things for short periods and give plenty of rest in between.
So what approach should I take?
- Invite friends and family, small, grand, different looking, different sexes. Be prudent and vigilant with experiences with other children.
- Introduce him to a collar and then a leash. For short periods just leave the collar on him, later attach the leash and let him walk around with it, then you can take him for a walk around the house. Carefully choose a lightweight buckle collar with a puppy.
- Visit your families and friend and families in their houses.
- Try and meet diverse puppies, particularly other sociable, vigorous and vaccinated dogs. Be prudent until the puppy is fully vaccinated, meeting bitches of unknown history.
- If you know people with hound friendly cats, see if you can visit?
- Meet other animals, do you have a friendly farm near you? Difficult in towns, but look for opportunities.
- Life in a car is part of life. So take puppy out for as many convenient short rides in the car. Stop and let him watch the world pass by, in the security of the car. This will introduce him to noisy. Introduce him to other loud noises such as drills.
- Take or walk him to spots where there is local commotion such as the mall and parks. Find a restaurant or coffee house where you can sit outside with your dog and watch the world go by. Loads of people will introduce themselves to him.
- Introduce your pooch to activities in the home, paying attention to safety, vacuuming, cooking and gardening.
- Puppy grooming, a great time for you and him, start a routine as soon as possible of brushing, bathing and inspection.
- Careful with training the pup on stairs, if you are a typical town apartment owner, this may be problematic.
Dog socialization, do not procrastinate and do something today and have a superb sociable pooch.