This blog is all about giving you ideas about where to take your pup/dog o socialize, build confidence, and explore.
There are many more places you could go but, these are just a few we recommend to our dog training clients and it's the same guideline we follow with our own puppies.
Other people’s neighborhoods other than your own. Take a stroll through someone’s friendly neighborhood with your dog. Stay to yourself to allow your dog a chance to get to know the place before meeting anyone.
Other people’s houses (with out dogs at first) To do this, you would go to the person’s home and just stay on the outside. Have them come out without their dogs. Do this for as long as it takes for your dog to be comfortable here. Even if you think your dog is passive and submissive and wouldn’t do anything to the other dog doesn’t mean you should rush it or force it. When you do things like rushing and forcing, you cause your dog to shut down. Shutting down at someone else’s house can mean a fight. This could turn into a lawsuit quick. Trust us, we deal with cases like that on a daily basis and have for about a decade.
Other people’s houses (with dogs) Now that your dog is comfortable, have them bring one dog out at a time on a long 30 foot leash. How you hold the leash is important. You have to figure out the best way in your situation. You want your dog to be on leash when meeting another dog for the first time so that you can have a chance to separate the dogs without touching the dogs in case things go bad.
Don’t hold tight on your dog’s leash. That will cause your dog to miscommunicate to the other dog and can cause a fight. It can also cause your dog to stress and when you stack stressors you can cause a normal dog to be aggressive.
If both of the dogs are good and fine, I would allow off leash play in a gated yard.
Pet store: Go in the back of the cat food isle - This is the least likely place you will find a dog in your pet store and most people do not bring their cats to the pet store because of dogs so it is a good place to take your dog to train, work on behaviors, experience the store if they are too fearful to be there, etc. If your dog is a super confident dog and isn’t a problem then walk through your pet store not allowing your dog to go up to other dogs. That is the last place you want something bad to happen.
Church parking lot - These are usually full of very nice people and could be a great place to socialize your puppy with people of all ages and sizes! Your church may even let the puppy come in! How cool would that be???
The back of the Walmart parking lot is usually empty.
This is a great place to build positive confidence with being out in public. When you are out in a place like this, do not expect a lot from your dog.
Boardwalks are a great place to socialize your dog. Start away from the crowded places first. Build your dog’s confidence up then move closer and closer to the action once every four weeks. Always take it slow. If you live near a dog-friendly boardwalk then you will know what I mean by this.
Going out with other dogs.
Do not use other dogs as a confidence booster for your dog while going out in public. This will only backfire on you in the future. Your dog will develop a dependency with the other dog and will rely on that dog being there for confidence, in the future. You don’t want that, it will be fine at first but, think about when that person’s dog can’t go out or that person’s dog gets sick for weeks and you get stuck inside because you can’t take your dog out without the other person’s dog and now your dog regresses and you end up back at square one.
The best thing is to start out by taking your dog out solo. No other dogs. Build your dog’s confidence in public with scary or weird things before bringing another dog into the picture.
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