There’s nothing like the excitement of raising and nurturing a canine. Using specific dog training techniques, you can promote healthy habits that ensure your pup socializes well and grows up to become a happy, well-behaved pet. The experts at Orchard Kennels, the leading pet kennel in Walworth, NY, are here to share five suggestions that may make all the difference.
5 Safe Ways to Socialize a Puppy
1. Start Early
By approximately eight weeks old, a pup is ready to encounter the world and experience all it offers. Take this time to share the puppy love with friends and family. Allow others to pet, cuddle, and interact with your dog. This will help them trust and grow comfortable with people other than you. It’s especially important to socialize your puppy before they are 16 weeks of age, because this is a critical period for their development. However, it’s crucial to also give puppies enough time with their mothers during their first 8 weeks of life and wait to take them out in public.
2. Teach Them About Noise
Sounds are a normal part of the social world, and a fully engaged dog won’t necessarily overreact when they encounter something loud or overwhelming. The best way to help them along is to train them to recognize different noises. Gradually allow them to hear the TV, the radio, heavy traffic, and the sound of kids playing. When you introduce them to new sounds, make sure that you don’t overwhelm them—this process will take some time.
3. Encourage Proper Biting Habits
Proper dog training includes some gentle guidance that helps canines understand when it’s inappropriate to bite, along with what not to bite. Puppies have a habit of navigating the world with their mouths for a while, and they may be inclined to chomp down on anything that comes their way. If your pet accidentally snaps down on you or someone else, stop playing, but don’t yell or show force in any way. This helps enforce a “no biting” mentality during inappropriate moments. You should teach your puppy never to put its mouth on a person.
4. Mix Up Their Activities
Try to keep your pet alert to new environments. It’s a key dog training technique that prevents them from growing complacent in their surroundings and ensures they stay engaged and stimulated without fear in new spaces. For example, you could walk through a different neighborhood or take them to the beach. You should run errands with your puppy when possible, and, if you’re close to your veterinarian office, stop in to say hello. This will help your dog create positive associations with the vet’s office, so they are less likely to feel nervous when they need to go in for checkups or treatment.
5. Schedule Some Alone Time
There’s such a thing as overstimulation, too. Make sure your dog understands alone time is okay. You can use a baby gate at home to keep them in place while you go about your business. This helps establish independence and prevents separation anxiety. You should also crate train your puppy—this is especially important during situations when it’s unsafe for your dog to be loose and unsupervised.
A few key dog training techniques will help your pet grow into a properly socialized adult dog. You can trust the team at Orchard Kennels to help! As the area’s leading pet kennel and dog boarding facility, they offer excellent training classes. Visit their website to learn more about their services, or give them a call at (315) 986-1605.