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Old November 8th, 2004, 10:34 PM
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tenderfoot tenderfoot is offline
Senior Contributor - Expert
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Posts: 1,249
I just had another thought - imagine that (sorry I get so verbose at times). Puppy socialization. You shouldn't have to pay for it! Pay people to teach you how to be a great dog person - not to socialize your dog.
Socialization needs to be happening all of the time, and with all kinds of creatures, not just other puppies. Different kinds of people, young and old, all kinds of EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, birds etc. Different environments, loud, quiet, large, small, busy, bright, dark etc. The key is to expose your dog to everything in a positive manner, so that when they are faced with something new in life the dog remembers that so many new experiences were wonderful and fun and they are confident to experience more.
Depriving a dog of life's experiences can be just as cruel as neglect. Lack of good socialization can result in terrible emotional disorders which can lead to fear aggression, insecurities, phobias, etc. That's no way to raise a dog.
Remember that puppies have fear periods at approx. 8-10 weeks and again at 16 weeks. Becareful not to expose them to any scary situations (i.e. vet & shots), during this time. This is when memories imprint themselves for life. So if an old man stepped on your puppies toes and she screamed - she might always think of old men or old men's feet as scary. So if this happens don't fawn over her - inside you can think "poor thing", but on the outside try to be nonchalant about it otherwise you might be feeding the fear and creating a drama queen.
Love Them & Lead Them,
~Elizabeth & Doug
Dog Training the Way Nature Intended
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