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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Importance of Dog Socialization

There are two things that influence a dog's behavior, namely genetics and experience. Genetics is nature and it's given. Every breed of dog has its own genetic traits and characteristics that contribute to the way a dog behaves. As soon as puppy is born, he/she will react to things, environment, situations, based on its inherited way of stimulation and thinking.

However, such natural behavior can be controlled or altered, for better or for worse, depending on the pup's experiences, particularly during the early sensitive period of development. A young puppy has a fast learning mind and can easily absorbs whatever you teach him. A pup nurtured or raised properly can become a good dog or better yet a wonder dog, but if the wrong kind of learning occurs, you may end up having a dog with lifelong problems in attitude and behavior. It is so important to accompany young pup to people of all ages, genders, sizes, color and deportment during the early period of its development and this is the idea of Socialization.

In socializing young pups. the objective is to prevent such negative experiences. When pups are first born they trust everyone and everything. At this time they should be exposed, under pleasant circumstances and with positive results, to environment, people and animals of all sorts. The window of rapid acceptance begins to close toward the 8th to 10th week of life. If adverse experiences occur during this stage, the negative effect may become severe.

Although early socialization of an unvaccinated pup would pose an unacceptable health risk, it can be resolved by setting a degree of isolation but not totally. Friends can be invited to visit your home and interact with the puppy, by playing with him, feeding and praising him. The pup's experience should be positive and pleasurable at this time.

LOKI with Dog Buddy Sachi

Also, it is helpful to have the pup interact with fully vaccinated and well cared for animals of the same or different species, as long as it can be assured that they are friendly. Socialization to other animals, including dogs, is almost as important as socialization to people. Generally, dogs raised in kennels do not get well socialized to people.

Good socialization is well achieved in a home-based atmosphere where in pups are allowed to explore and interact freely. In short, spending more time in a kennel or crate lessens the chance of socialization.

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