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Puppy Socialization

Socializing Puppies with Other Dogs

How to help your puppy feel comfortable around other dogs.

What Fostering Can Do For Rescue Puppies

A pandemic has upended the globe, but here’s a little bright spot: puppy fostering is experiencing a golden era. Record numbers of people are offering...

The Guide Dogs of America’s Puppy Socialization Schedule

Most service-dog organizations rely heavily on volunteers to welcome the organization's puppies into their homes – and hearts – for more than a year, during which time the volunteers are responsible for teaching basic obedience, impeccable house manners, and how to be confident and calm in a variety of public settings. Socialization is a huge part of raising any dog, but it's especially important when the dog is destined for a career spent largely away from home. When it comes to socializing a puppy, how you do it matters – a lot!
Puppy in kitty pool

The Puppy-Raising Challenge

I've been a professional dog trainer for 10 years. I've tackled all kinds of behavior issues ranging from mild annoyances, like jumping up, to serious aggression or anxiety problems. I've doled out training and management advice to dog-owning families expecting babies (of the human kind), guided adopters in their selection of a puppy or adult dog, and counseled clients on what to do after their shiny new puppy finally arrives. I've taught group classes of various themes, including puppy kindergarten – so many puppy classes, I'd heard and seen it all.

The Puppy Socialization Exposure Checklist

One of the things I've discovered in my puppy classes is that many people assume socialization is simply about getting your dog around lots of people to be petted and plenty of dogs to play with. This can be a piece of the socialization package, but remember that the goal of socialization is to get your pup accustomed to and comfortable with the world around him. Puppies need to be exposed in a pleasant way to the following things.
Puppy on blanket

4 Puppy Biting Survival Strategies

Puppies! Who doesn't love 'em? They're cute, cuddly, and silly. They look like little angels when they sleep, which is often. When they're awake,...
Puppy socialization

The Complete Puppy Socialization Guide

Socializing is more than just getting your puppy out and about and having him meet lots of people and animals. The way a puppy is socialized is just as important. It is the quality of the exposure that counts (not the quantity!). Your pup doesn't need to have prolonged or close contact with new things or people. He just needs to have easy, happy experiences. The more relaxed your pup is, the better.

Raising a Well-Adjusted Puppy

I used to pride myself on the fact that I had never been a so-called "foster failure." As most of you probably know, that's...

8 Steps to a Behaviorally Healthy Dog

You can start the process of socializing and training at any stage of a dog's life! Making positive associations for your dog is faster and easier for youngsters than adults, but it's always worth trying to teach new ways of thinking that will improve your dog's quality of life and overall happiness.

The 10 Most Important Things to Teach A Puppy

I don't care what breed or mix of breeds you're talking about, puppies are inarguably, impossibly and adorably cute. You have to be pretty...
dogs chewing

Take Control of Puppy Chewing

Why do puppies chew? They chew to explore the world, and to relieve the pain and irritation of teething. But they also chew because it's a natural, normal activity for all canines, young and old. While puppies do eventually grow up and get past the stage where they feel compelled to put their teeth on everything they see, mature dogs also need to chew to exercise their jaws, massage their gums, clean their teeth, and to relieve stress and boredom.
puppy being held

Puppies in Public: Risk Factors

As the proud owner of a new puppy, you are faced with some big decisions in the first few months. Are ALL of those vaccinations necessary? Can my puppy start socializing by mingling at the dog park or on the street? When should I begin training, or hire a dog trainer? What may seem like obvious answers are actually quite complicated and critically important to your puppy's well being.

Latest Blog

Aggression at Dog Parks

We’ve all got stories about terrible things that we’ve seen or heard about that happened at a dog park. I would argue that there are just as many potentially aggressive humans at these parks as there are dogs who exhibit aggressive behavior.