Oh baby it’s a wild world…and you gotta groom a puppy for it | Northern Beaches Review

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If you are a new puppy parent, socializing your pup is crucial.

Socialization isn’t just about getting your pup used to people and other dogs, it’s also about making sure they have lots of different and positive experiences that will help them grow into happy, confident adults.

There is what is called a “critical socialization period” for puppies, which is when they are between about four and 16 weeks old.

This is the time when it is most important to give your canine friend positive and varied experiences (including different sights, sounds, surfaces, smells and skills) that will help him respond well to these experiences when he is older.

The RSPCA recommends reward based training for all aspects of dog training. This is where the dog is set up for success and then rewarded for performing the “right” behavior (eg, with a treat).

It is important that your puppy can interact with other people and with dogs or puppies in a safe and positive way.

Puppy school is a great way to do this – it’s usually for puppies between 11 and 18 weeks old, to try to coincide with the critical socialization period while ensuring puppies are adequately vaccinated with all their routine vaccinations.

Once your vet tells you that your puppy has reached a point in their vaccination schedule where they are safe, you can also take your puppy to meet and play with your friends, family, and their dogs at your home or theirs.

Sights, Surfaces and Sounds

Your pup is going to encounter many different objects, sounds and sights over the course of its life, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to try to get it used to as many of them as possible.

One way to familiarize your pup with different people is to dress yourself up. You can dress up in winter clothes, sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, scrubs like a vet, masks, beards, wigs, umbrellas, helmets – whatever you have under your breath. hand.

You can even simulate different situations like a delivery man coming to your door or someone riding a bike.

The goal is to get your pup used to seeing these things and to give him a treat and praise when he behaves calmly around a “new” person.

When your dog gets the chance to go outside, he’ll likely encounter surfaces like concrete, metal, grass, leaves, tile, pavement, and wood. You can recreate these surfaces as an “experience walk” at home in your backyard to get your pup used to these surfaces.

Dogs have a keen sense of hearing, and you can also take steps to get your pup used to the different sounds they’ll encounter over their lifetime.

There are plenty of videos online that you can play for your pup (like sounds of appliances, cars, trains, motorcycles and barking dogs) – just keep the volume low and remember to reward your puppy for calm behavior.

You also need to get your puppy comfortable and used to being handled, with regular sessions of gentle touching of areas such as his ears, feet, mouth and tail.

This will help you when examining your dog during routine care and also when visiting the vet.

As always, remember that the goal is to reward your pup for calm behavior in order to maintain positive interactions.

You can also get your puppy used to being in the car; even if you’re not going anywhere, you can just fire up the engine and take a few trips down the driveway.

Give your pup a few of his meals in the car to get him to form positive associations.

There are plenty of resources – and some tips on how to socialize your pup even during a pandemic – on the Database.

Congratulations on your new puppy.

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