Dogs that can be easily taken into public and get along with other dogs and humans, especially children, are much more pleasant to own as pets. This is a guide to socializing your dog.
Start taking your new puppy to a Doggy Park now. You have plenty of happy days ahead of reading in the park as your dog runs free, gets plenty of exercise, and socializes with other dogs. My time there lets me catch up on correspondence. I read my magazines and good books without bother.
I've taken Maggie often to our "run free" dog park. The park is fenced in with a double gate for entering and leaving. She has been the smallest one there but seems to hold her own well. I haven't seen any dog fights, most of the dogs just have a lot of fun running and playing with each other. Our dog park is 30 acres. Here is are pictures of the dogs and people at our park: http://www.kitsapdogparks.org/4-03-04.htm
I think in some places they have small and large dog parks. All of the dogs I've seen at our park are large. There are trails and larger meadows for running and catching balls.
It gives your dog a chance to really run. The dogs seem to keep track of their people and don't seem to get lost because they are always coming back to "check in."
It's also a good way for your dog to get socialized with other dogs. Maggie thinks it's just about the best thing ever.
Susan from ThriftyFun
I would be so nervous taking my little 8lb poodle to one. I would be afraid she would end up getting hurt by one of the bigger dogs.
Puppies do not have full immunity until they've had all three sets of shots, plus rabies. They can also pick up other problems as well, such as worms. DO NOT take your puppy out in public until that time (at least 4 months of age--better yet, 6 months).
I think I started taking my dog to Dog Parks too early. Now it's the only thing she really wants to do. and When she's at the park she plays so rough. (She's the Black & White one).
Proper socialization is one of the key factors in raising a well-behaved puppy. By meeting all types of dogs in all types of situations, your puppy will be well-adjusted and will learn that they should not bite hard.
Socialization starts the moment your dog is born. More importantly, your socialization efforts start when you take ownership of your dog. Exposing your dog to many sights, sounds, and situations will teach him that the unexpected is okay. He will (hopefully) learn to get along with people, other dogs, and animals.
A calm, well-socialized dog will be welcome in a lot more situations than an untrained, hyper dog. You can bring your pup to the dog park with confidence; you can take your dog into many situations and he will behave and obey at all times.
An unsocialized dog may knock a person down in greeting; an unsocialized dog may fight with other animals; an unsocialized dog may spook and run out of the yard at an unexpected sound! A poorly socialized dog reflects badly on ALL dog owners.
Socialization goes on every moment of every day of your dog's life. Start with a basic obedience class as soon as you get your dog, but be sure to pick one with positive training methods. (You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, as the old saying goes!)
After you pass the basic obedience class, take your dog with you as much as possible. Walk out to greet the mailman every day. Stroll through the busy downtown streets at lunch time. Visit friends and family. Take car rides.
Socializing your dog may be easier than you think. Praise your dog's good behaviors, like walking calmly, sitting on command, and greeting strangers politely. Use treats or affection as a reward for the good stuff, and don't reward bad behaviors like barking, pulling on the leash, jumping up on people, or cowering in fear.
Socialization is an ongoing process. Every day brings new experiences, but the more exposure your dog has to the world, the better equipped he will be to handle surprises.
Spend lots of time playing with your dog, starting from when it is a puppy. The more time you spend with your dog, the happier it will be and the friendlier it will be with other people.
I think my dog is becoming aggressive! I have a 2yr old Pit Bull mix, he's a lovely dog and loves to play. The problem is he's started to fight back when a dog attacks him or initiates a fight with him. A few months ago he would usually run away from confrontation.
After about 3 times of him being attacked (usually with possessive dogs over something as simple as a stick) he's gradually started to become braver and the other day, when he was playing with a dog he knows quite well, they got into a fight. Mine went to get his ball back from this dog who is very possessive with toys, etc. As soon my dog went to get it the other one lunged at him growling and snarling. My dog just went straight back at him!
Thankfully he never does any damage, he just holds them tightly by the neck with his mouth. I managed to get him off, but the other one went straight for his face and now he's got quite a big wound underneath his eye where the tooth went in.
Why has he suddenly started to fight back when before he would just back off and run in the other direction? Thanks for any answers.
Here is the article list at leerburg.com.
This should help you come to a decision on what kind of training or intervention you might use on your dogs. I love this site!