By HAIRY POPPINS, Mar 17 2018 03:45PM
Socialising your puppy (or your adult dog) is not the same thing as POSITIVELY Socialising your puppy or adult dog.
Getting your dog used to lots of different sights, sounds, smells, humans, children, dogs, environments etc is great but only if your dog is having a good time.
I think we sometimes falsely assume that getting the dog out there and socialising him to as much stuff as possible is all thats needed. Especially if we give him treats whilst we're out too. He must be loving this experience, right??
If your dog is having a bad time being surrounded by too many humans / meeting too many dogs - especially if theyre a bit rough when playing / too many excitable children / cars / bikes / whatever then just "socialising" him with these things isn't going to help.
Any socialising you do needs to be a positive experience.
Stand back and look at your puppy / dog.
What is his body language telling you?
Is he enjoying being chased by the other dogs or is he running for his life?
Does he enjoy being passed around all of your workmates or is one of them handling him a bit too roughly? Maybe someone s shouting? Accidently frightening your dog.
Its your job to watch.If your dog is not enjoying the experience then get him out of there.
We make our dogs reactivity worse - or some times even cause it in young puppies, by missing the signs that our dogs are not happy - we ignore the subtle little "whispers" The lip licking, the yawning, the whale eye, the shaking off so that our dogs are left with no choice but to shout - the barking, the growling,the lunging, the doing somersaults at the end of the lead.
You can help prevent your puppies from becoming reactive as they get older.
You can help your adult dog feel less anxious about things.
Make the experiences good!
Socialising your dog is not the same thing as POSITIVELY SOCIALISING your dog.