It’s important to socialize your puppy

Puppies, each in their sockPerhaps the most important task for today’s dog is to learn about the world while they are puppies.

It’s important near 16 weeks of age to socialize a puppy.

Future behavior problems can easily be prevented at the puppy stage if exposed to sounds, sights, smells, situations and the many, many creatures of society.

Pups are pleasant things.
I showed my pup many many things.
I showed him many things very pleasantly.
My dog knows what he learned as a pup.
He doesn’t seek or expect trouble.
His world remains pleasant.
That’s socialization.

Up the road a dozen chickens criss cross ditch to ditch. Their rooster keeps a pride of nearby feral cats away. Imagine that? My dog and I walk near. He turns to look at me. I put my hand in my pocket, slump my shoulders, to signal to him we will not annoy other creatures; nope, not, not now, just no. But with an impetuous hop-skip, he veers three or four feet in their direction to see them cluck cluck in deference and we walk by. I’m not worried. He will not chase. He will not threaten. He will not damage. There’s not malice.

He has no malice with the seagulls on the boardwalk nor the beach. There’s not malice with the kittens under the stoop. There’s not malice to the two farm dogs charging us. There’s not malice to the rampaging Chihuahua charging us. Not to the Great Dane that surprised us through the fog. There’s not malice to the small mare at the fence nor the three calves next door; not to the mole in the hole on the knoll.

As people approach, in all ages and sizes and colors, in uniforms, with tools or boxes, or swinging their arms, or strolling with their children, or leading their pets, he wiggles and twists into a pretzel on four legs and hopes for their delight. Me too; well, not a wiggling pretzel so much.

I saw a toddler throw her hands in the air when Lucky and I turned onto the grass at the neighborhood park. In awe she fell to her diaper-padded bottom while her eyes froze on my dog like a deer in headlights. He instantly looked away from her gaze, swiftly turned his back to her, plunged flat, and froze to the grass. Not looking at her; not once over minutes, as if an old-style film strip, he undulated his neck and his spine and shuffled his paws under his tummy until, slowly by inches and inches, he was very lightly touching her. She rolled on him in utter glee. A soft day for her whole humanity.

Silly puppy animationPuppy classes teach puppies how to behave with puppies. A dog learns to be gentle, witty and patient.

Puppy socialization teaches about the worries and wonders of the world. A dog learns attitude.

To join with ours. [via threadless]