Socialization Plus

One of the most valuable things you can do with your dog is to socialize her a lot! The more exposure she has to different people, places, surfaces, and settings, the more comfortable she will be in your world. And the earlier you start, the more easily she will adapt to a wide variety of experiences. At around four months of age, a puppy develops a sense of "stimulus memory," which greatly limits her openness to new experiences. Whenever possible expose your puppy to new stimulus, inoculated dogs, and safe, controlled situations. This is not to say that an older dog won't tolerate new stimuli; it's just that she may be more wary or defensive in unfamiliar situations. These reactions are not bad or abnormal—fear/defensiveness is nothing more than a lack of exposure and trust in your direction. In the previous chapters we discuss communication and training as steps to help you organize your dog's experience. As you venture out use any and all familiar commands in order to help your dog/puppy feel safe and to normalize new experiences.

People 130

Places 134

Other Dogs 136

Other Animals 138

Things 140

Surfaces 142

Stimulation 143

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