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How important is it to socialize your new puppy?
This is very important in order for your puppy to mature into a confident adult. This is really apart of the training process. You don't want your dog running behind you every time a person or another dog approaches. Also you don’t want your dog to become a “shy biter”. This is when the dog will wait until the person has turned around and will go up behind that person and bite them.
First, very important, you want to be sure your new puppy has the complete series of puppy shots. One or two puppy shots does not protect your puppy! (Consult with your veterinarian)
There is a certain amount of socializing that the breeder does, however the breeder does not have the puppy long enough to really complete the job. So this responsibility really falls to the dog owner.
Again, remember to protect your puppy and complete the entire series of puppy shots before doing the following!
Take the puppy with you to see new people such as your friends, people in the park, etc. Taking your puppy to Petsmart or Petco can be a great experience for them. There are carts, strange noises, other dogs, people that will approach your puppy and all the strange shapes inside the store. How about the Zoo, there are lots of strange noises there, plus children running and jumping. Also a park can provide a unique experience for puppy that will be more laid back than the Zoo. Go to Wall Mart and walk your puppy across the lot on a leash.
Caution: protect your dog from other dogs that may attack him/her. If you don’t protect your puppy then you will lose trust in his eyes, and the process will be set back and it will be difficult to move forward.
After your puppy has done something good then reward him with a treat and praise. Some breeds will respond more with praise than with treats, so don’t leave out that part. Reinforce his positive behavior.
If puppy is being shy, don’t force him. Let him control when to approach and when to leave. If your puppy growls or tries to back away from something, just move farther back so he feels safer. Different dogs react differently to different things.
When in the home just continue to do things as you normally would; slam the cupboards, run the vacuum, play music (dog’s ears are more sensitive so don’t play the music so loud that you cause your puppy to go deaf), this gives you the idea. All these things will help you puppy become well adjusted and not afraid of different sounds. Here is one that people forget; use one of the plastic bags you get from the grocery store. Crumple them up so they make a noise, this is a different sound so want your puppy to get used to that noise. You don’t want your puppy running into the other room when you are unpacking the groceries.
Summary: This just some basic information for you to use for the ongoing training process of your puppy. Show your puppy new things and adventures Be patient with him/her, carry treats and reward the puppy with treats and praise when they do well and protect your puppy from potential danger, build that trust and relationship with them.