Hey Pawrents! What’s one thing all pet parents have in common? We all want our fur kids to be happy, well-adjusted, friendly little pooches. So here are my seven tips for raising dog and people friendly paw children.
1. Start Small
Just like with hooman children, you cannot wait until your puppy hits their terrible tweens before beginning the socialization process. Oftentimes poor manners are a result of untreated anxiety and fear in your dog.
One of the best ways to prevent unnecessary fear in your dog is by introducing them to as many new experiences, people and fur friends, as early as possible. Of course, as a discerning pet parent one would wait until their dog has completed all their puppy shots. But once that milestone has been completed, introducing your dog to new hoomans and other dogs early on in life will help them not to be overly fearful.
2. Set Limits
You know what another common cause of dog aggression is? An unruly pooch who has no boundaries or pack leader. If you don’t set the rules of engagement for your dog, she is going to set some rules of her own.
So don’t be a pawrent pushover. It is more than okay to set standards of behavior for your dog; in fact your pooch expects it. This tip brings us right into Tip #3…
3. Obedience Training
Whether you decide to enroll your dog into formal obedience classes or opt to conduct some home schooling of your own, making sure your dog complies with your commands is key. This tip goes hand in hand with Tip #2 because it will help you to reinforce the limits that you have set.
For example, training your dog to stay will help her learn that even though the new hooman who just entered her house looks like loads of fun, she needs contain her excitement until you say it’s appropriate. And even when she is allowed to greet her guests, she needs to be gentle. That type of puppy self control goes a long way to raising a happy, respectful fur kid.
4. Let’s Get Physical
Unexercised dogs also can also struggle in social situations. They have so much pent up energy that it overrides their common sense. So those unruly dogs who are seen not returning to their owners on command, knocking down children or being overly excited on puppy playdates could totally be dealing with some excitement overload.
Help your dog be in the right frame of mind to meet new friends by making sure to schedule daily exercise. Dogs are like kids. They need recess everyday to run around. So the question is not who let the dogs out? Instead it’s: did YOU let the dogs out today?
In addition to keeping your dog physically stimulated, you also want to keep your pup busy mentally. Puzzle games are an excellent way to help your dog stay alert and challenged. Consider these types of activities as a great extension to the puppy school day.
Did you know that the average dog IQ is equivalent to human children between the ages of 2 to 5 years old? As you know bored 2 year olds may not be in the best mood to socialize. The same goes for your pooch.
So figure out ways to keep your fur kid busy. And don’t think the only solution is to buy expensive dog IQ toys. There are plenty of interactive games you can play with your dog using common house hold items.
6. Send in the Treats
We’ve gone over a lot of tips so far and haven’t even discussed the one your dog will think is the most important. Send in the treatos! Reinforcing positive interactions with new friends will help your dog to find the whole experience to be pleasant.
Happy, mentally stimulated, well-exercised, calm dogs are always in the best headspace to make new friends. Just be sure to reward them when they get it right.
7. Be Consistent
Last but not least is the need for us pawrents to be consistent. All of the above tips won’t work if we don’t practice them continuously. So come up with a schedule for your fur kids and keep it. Feel free to mix and match activities and training sessions, but the key is to start early and reinforce often.
Well those are my tips! Now get out there and help your pup make some new pals!
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