Dog Behavior Training Tip of the Month…
Preventing Behavior Problems by correctly using the Actual Socialization Period In Puppies/When Socialization Can Affect Behavior Problems…….
From studies we have learned that dogs, like other animals, have critical periods in their development. For dogs, the critical period for socialization or being exposed to dogs, people and novel stimuli is as puppies, roughly up to 12 -15 weeks old. I often hear of attempts to treat behavior problems in dogs, that is, problems arising from the emotions of fear, aggression or both, by “socializing” them as adults. This inevitably fails as the critical period as puppies which prevents the behavior problem from developing has passed, once a behavior problem has developed, simply exposing dogs to the triggers that set it off (people, dogs, sounds like backfiring cars, etc.) only makes it worsen and deepen as the dog’s emotions and behavior to the trigger(s) has not been changed with effective treatment. Dog owners do often get caught in a socialization conundrum as vets often advise not to allow puppies to walk prior to 15 weeks. The solution is simply carry your puppy with you to every place possible including stores, a friend’s house, the mall, parks, and carry (as opposed to walking) your pup through the neighborhood. Always have as many people as possible meet and greet your puppy (not difficult when holding a cute pup!) and expose your puppy to well behaved, vaccinated dogs (try a friend’s dog). This is also a good time to begin to expose your puppy to short car rides. Accurate socialization in puppyhood results in a dog that is adaptable, familiar and confident with a wide variety or people, dogs, settings and sometimes overwhelming stimuli (crowds, motorcycles, skateboards) in our urban environments.
For more dog behavior training tips, how to effectively solve behavior problems and reach the ultimate level of communication, love and harmony between you and your dog check out Christina’s ebook “Hopeless Dog to Happy Dog! An introduction to the Total Harmony Dog Transformation ® System” available at Amazon!
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