Socialization is the process of introducing your puppy to the world around him. With the ideal age of socialization occurring between 10 and 16 weeks of age, that means you must make the time to do this during this period. Socialization should continue through puppyhood and into adulthood. If you adopt an older puppy or dog, that dog should be introduced to the sights and sounds of your home and neighborhood. After all, it's his home and neighborhood now, too.

It's very important to keep the socialization process fun and upbeat. Even if the puppy is startled by something, he shouldn't be consoled; the puppy could mistake that consoling as praise for being worried. Instead, jolly him! For example, if he's worried about a flapping trash bag, tell him in a happy tone of voice, "Oh, don't be silly! Come on, brave boy!" as you reach out and touch the trash bag. After he sees you can touch it and no harm befalls you, let him walk up to it.

Your puppy should meet people of all ages, sizes, shapes, colors, and ethnic backgrounds. He needs to find out that people come in wide variety. As you introduce your puppy to people, you must also protect him. Do not let people treat him roughly, even if they are only doing so in play.

Some breeds bond more closely, while others will bond with the entire family. Schapendoes bond strongly to the entire family. Little Beauty Kibo du Bouleau, a Schapendoe, owned by Colette Peiffer.

You must set the rules as to how he is handled, even if it means that you have to step in and tell someone, "Sorry, we don't play those games. Please be gentle."

Don't let crowds of people swarm your puppy, either. When you introduce him to your neighbors, have one or two at a time pet him. If a crowd develops, pick up your puppy and move away. You can explain that a crowd is frightening and ask them to approach the puppy one at a time. Keep in mind that although your dog may be your protector when he's grown up, right now you are his protector.

During socialization, introduce your puppy to normal sounds. Normal household sights and sounds:

♦ A trash bag being shaken out and placed in a trash can

♦ A vacuum cleaner turned on and moving around the house

♦ A broom and mop being used

♦ A garbage disposal turned on

♦ A trash compactor turned on

♦ A metal pan lid dropped to the floor

♦ The washing machine and dryer

Normal outdoor sounds:

♦ A motorcycle driving by

♦ The lawnmower

♦ A weed whacker and leaf blower being used

♦ The garbage truck coming down the street

♦ A bicycle and a tricycle, as well as other kids' toys

Your puppy should also meet other animals. He can meet healthy, well-vaccinated, friendly adult dogs, and he should meet a dog-friendly cat. Rabbits, ferrets, goats, cows, sheep, horses, and tortoises can also be a part of his socialization.

Your veterinarian may tell you to keep your puppy at home until he has had all his vaccinations. She's telling you this out of fear that your puppy may catch a contagious disease. Yet, this book is telling you to socialize your dog; obviously, there is a conflict. Most puppies have good immunities after two full sets of vaccinations, and most of the threat of disease comes from unvaccinated dogs. So, as you take your dog out in public to introduce him to the world, avoid unknown dogs. Let him be friendly only with those dogs you know are well vaccinated and appear healthy. When you're out in public, do not let your puppy sniff other dogs' feces or urine. Be careful and protect your puppy, yet let him see the world, too.

Pit Bulls as Pets

Pit Bulls as Pets

Are You Under The Negative Influence Of Hyped Media Stereotypes When It Comes To Your Knowledge Of Pit Bulls? What is the image that immediately comes into your mind when you think of the words Pit Bull? I can almost guarantee that they would be somewhere close to fierce, ferouscious, vicious, killer, unstoppable, uncontrollable, or locking jawed man-eaters.

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