Puppy Socialization – Building Confidence in Vík

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We have been actively socializing Ví­k as much as possible since the day we brought him home.

From about 3 weeks to 3 months of age, puppies are in their sensitive period for socialization, and (I think) it is the most important socialization period in a dog’s life.

Puppies who do not get adequate socialization during this period are more at risk to be fearful/stressed/nervous/aggressive around unfamiliar people, other dogs, sounds, and objects, and new environments.

Just as we did with Kenzo, we have been actively socializing Ví­k as much as possible since the day we brought him home.

We are using classical conditioning to socialize our puppy Ví­k; creating an association between two stimuli. When it comes to introducing him to new objects/people/experiences we want it to be all positive!

The end goal is to let Ví­k believe his world and all its entities are safe and happy. If Ví­k is not well-socialized, he may become neophobic, which means fearful of new things.

Merrick Power Bite Dog Treats

Today, we worked on the “wait” comman and did balance and coordination exercises with Ví­k stepping up on & sitting on various wooden boxes. We used Merrick Power Bites— for today’s training session.

Merrick-Power-Bites-Treats

I wanted to get Ví­k comfortable stepping up, standing, and sitting on random surfaces to help strengthen his balance and coordination as he is growing.

I also am introducing him to different scenarios, sounds, and surfaces so that he is unafraid of obstacles and objects we may encounter later in life. My goal with Ví­k has been to expose him to everything and anything in a positive manner so decrease or minimize fear as he grows older.

My first dog Leo was terrified of walking on manhole-covers and grated surfaces. Now, I know more about puppy socialization, perhaps if I would have consistently exposed Leo to different surfaces when he was younger, it might have decreased or eliminated his fear of walking on uneven surfaces as an adult. I always took him on walks in my parents’ neighborhood in the suburbs so man-holes weren’t very prevalent and it never crossed my mind that it would be an issue once we moved to the city.

Do you have a puppy?! In what ways are you socializing him or her? Training your doggy? You can read more about the high-quality treats we use for training HERE. 

P/C Studio 29 Photography

Chicken Soup for the Soul Dog Food

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