Tips for Socializing your puppy for success!
We all want to give our puppy the best start in life when it comes to socializing them properly. Everyone seems to have their own idea of which ways are best in terms of socialization.
I find the key is always making sure that YOU have more value than anything in the environment while making sure a puppy feels safe and confidence. With my sheltie Dice, I took a rather unorthodox approach to socialization. Since she was so nervous of her environment (people, dogs, objects etc.)
I only exposed her to these things in situations where she was in control. For example, people would ask if they could hold her and I’d say, “no, but you can sit on the ground if you like and see if she chooses to come up to you.”
The reason I choose to raise her in this manner was she had very little resiliency at a young age to get over things that scared her. She is now very comfortable in her environment, so I feel I made good choices in this area when she was young. I didn’t want her to feel any form of fear when it came to things she was already nervous about.
Keep in mind that your dog doesn’t have to love people, or other dogs to be a great agility dog…they simply need to not react their environment. This is why I am always working on my dogs coming to me after they have met a person, another dog, or explored a new object. I want to promote confidence, but I also don’t want them to learn that life is a party and that I wasn’t invited!
The end goal for socialization is a well-balanced, confident, but responsive puppy that loves to play with you above everything else.