The first few days and weeks with a new puppy are filled with laughter, curiosity, and the occasional accident. In addition to ensuring that your puppy becomes housetrained and doesn't chew up your favorite slippers, you must socialize your puppy. Socializing your puppy helps them become more comfortable with other dogs and humans, and it helps prevent aggression and anxiety.
Here are a few simple tips to help you socialize your new puppy.
Expose Your Puppy to New and Safe Experiences
Talking daily walks with your puppy is a great place to start socializing them and introducing them to new sights, sounds, people, and experiences. Allow your puppy to sniff and explore, but keep them close in case they encounter a person, dog, or smell that frightens them.
Encourage friends and family members to come over and meet your new puppy. Ask friends to bring along their socialized dogs as well. Avoid introducing your unvaccinated dogs and puppies.
In addition to other people and dogs, expose your puppy to different sensations. For example, let them feel what it is like to walk on carpet, hardwood, grass, and your backyard deck. Let them walk among the flowers on their walk, explore the beach, and stroll down your favorite hiking trail. The more environments your puppy explores, the more confidence they will have later in life when encountering new situations.
Encourage Your Puppy With Positivity and Treats
While you are out on your daily walks, playing in a friend's backyard, or at the dog park, offer your puppy a treat and encourage them in a calm, soft voice each time they have a positive interaction with another person or dog. For example, if your puppy sniffs another dog on a walk and does not act aggressively, give them a little treat and let them know they are a good dog.
Work With a Professional Dog Trainer
Signing your puppy up for training classes from a company like David's Dog Training is not only a great way to socialize them in a safe environment, but it also helps teach them basic commands, such as sit or stay, and how to properly walk on a leash. The trainer will guide your puppy to have safe experiences with other dogs and humans. If your puppy is shy or already showing signs of aggression, working with a professional trainer is the most effective way to help curb unwanted behaviors and teach your puppy how to act around other dogs and humans.
From going for daily walks to enrolling your puppy in training classes, there are several ways you can successfully socialize your new best friend.