Dogs 101: Puppies need socialization and training.

puppiesgrassWe can’t stress this enough!  Socializing your puppy can help prevent his becoming a fearful, and possibly aggressive, dog.   Before four months of age, your puppy needs exposure to as many situations as possible. To ensure that these are good experiences, however, you can’t just throw your puppy into the mix and hope for the best. Don’t force your puppy into situations that make him uncomfortable. Teach children how to approach your puppy, and ask strangers to give him a treat.  Let your puppy play with your friends’ healthy, vaccinated dogs, but watch for signs of bullying or aggression. Stop play every few minutes, so the dogs can calm down before going back to play. Take your puppy to Puppy Kindergarten with a positive trainer to teach him focus and self-control.  To prevent resource guarding, take away his dog bowl while he’s eating, put a special treat in the bowl, and return it. This is the time to teach your dog to tolerate touch, control his impulses, develop a soft mouth, and share, rather than guard, resources.

Last up: Dogs need exercise and mental stimulation.