Dog Training and Socialisation
Socialisation and Dog Training
The most important time in your new pup's behavioural development is when it is less than 12 weeks of age. It will learn rapidly up to this point and it is essential to take the opportunity to expose the pup to as many different experiences as possible at this age to ensure it develops into a confident, balanced adult. Behavioural problems are one of the biggest reasons why young adult dogs are euthanased, which is a tragedy. It is always a good idea to attend training classes which actually train YOU to train your dog properly, rather than try on your own.
One of the most common reasons for aggression in young adult dogs is fear caused by inadequate socialization. New owners of rescue dogs often assume the pet has been mistreated previously because of fearful or negative behaviour but in fact often, it may just have been inadequately socialized as a pup.
One of the difficulties to be overcome is the fact that you should not be exposing your new puppy to lots of different dogs before it is fully vaccinated after 12 weeks of age. However, given the equal importance of good social development, many owners try to arrange LIMITED contact between their pup and one or two other, vaccinated dogs (preferably another puppy in the home). Once fully vaccinated, the pup should be encouraged to interact with lots of different dogs and people.
When choosing suitable toys for the new puppy, avoid old shoes and clothes or any small objects that could be swallowed, particularly small balls. It is a good idea to invest in a robust toy that prevents boredom such as a "Kong" which can be stuffed with treats if you need to leave the pup alone for some time. There are also large balls that can be stuffed with treats which fall out of a small hole as the dog pushes it about.
We keep a list of local training classes which may be of help; please send us any feedback of your experiences of local classes.