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Achieving a Confident Puppy

When most people get themselves a new puppy or rescue dog, they are reminded of the importance of having a well-rounded social dog.  A dog that can be taken places without the distress that it will react to people or the environment through fear or anxiety.

Socialisation is a word used frequently by trainers as it summarises quite well what we are about to discuss, however it does have a few inaccuracies when we move away from species.

Socialisation

This term accurately describes interaction between species, such as teaching your pet puppy to play with other pups, kittens, children, birds, rabbits and the list goes on.  If it’s alive, any meeting between the two is what we consider an active social experience and we want this to be a positive one.  Dr John Paul Scott, one of the founding researchers into what we now know about good social training practices in raising pet dogs has encouraged new owners to introduce their puppy to the world and it’s various sights and sounds, in a positive manner so they can have a fully enriched lifestyle.

Habituation

As above, I mentioned that socialisation is an open term used to describe what and how your puppy interacts with however, how can your puppy be social with a car, a lawn mower, a vacuum cleaner or any other non-life form.  Short answer is, they can’t be social with these items but they can develop good habits around them that is why we need to have carefully thought out programs that allow introductions to these and more objects at low intensity.  This allows the pups to come to terms that these things are just a part of life and there’s no reason to worry about them being there.

Generalisation

If we do the above two examples correctly, in time we will achieve a general balance to your puppy growing into an adult with no or minimal fears when being around people, other animals and the noisy machinery or natural phenomena that occurs in day to day life.  This will give them greater health benefits, reduce the risk of being rehomed and not have issues with people within our community.  Generalisation allows for a well-adjusted, socially secure and happy dog that is why it’s our overall aim.

Our training programs can help you and you dog achieve a better relationship and improve how you communicate with each other.

Glenn Cooke

Senior Behavioural Consultant
Pet Resorts of Australia

(02) 9651 1747
glenn@petresortsaustralia.com