Socializing a Puppy 1: Meeting Other Pups | Teacher’s Pet With Victoria Stilwell

Socializing your puppy with other people and
other dogs is really important, because it really sets your puppy up for success throughout
adulthood as well. The most important time to socialize your
puppy is before 16 weeks of age. Now, this can sometimes be difficult, because
16 weeks of age is really the time when puppy gets all the vaccinations. But, if you socialize in an environment that's
safe for the puppy, then you'll be able to allow them to meet many different kinds of
people, in many different situations, in many different environments.

Make sure that when you greet, you have a
nice loose leash. What we are allowing these dogs to do is smell
each other. So first, as you saw when they greeted each
other, they smelled each other around the muzzle, then they smelled each other around
the anogenital area. And these are the areas where a lot of smells
are concentrated. And these puppies can tell a lot about each
other with the way that they smell. They can tell the sex, the age, and the emotional
state, just from the pheromones that are located in the moist areas of the body, such as around
the mouth. And that's why dogs sniff each others bottoms,
because a lot of those pheromones are concentrated around the anogenital area. Now, the puppies are licking — and licking,
again, is a social behavior. They're also practicing a few little dominance
moves by putting the head over the shoulders of the other dog.

This is not bad — they're just trying to
establish where each other lies within this relationship. Sanford, who's the Golden Doodle puppy, lay
down, showing he's no threat. And then, Mojo elicited play by doing, as
you can see, the play bow. Now, this is the time when it probably would
be appropriate to let the dogs play with each other. But what you don't wanna have is one puppy
to overpower the other, so that one of the puppies gets a negative association with play
— so we have to keep a close eye on it as well as keeping as loose a leash as possible,
so we are as much out of the picture as possible. This is great now: As you can see, Mojo is
sniffing the ground.

Sniffing is a displacement behavior, which
basically shows the other dog that, hey, this is cool, we're playing, we're hanging out. I'm not threat to you. You're no threat to me. It's sort of establishing this relationship. Now, as you can see, Mojo went down into his
play bow again — he wants to have interaction, he wants that Sanford to come play with him. They're both exhibiting great behavior. These two puppies have never met before. This is the first time they've met. We just have to be a little bit careful, because
Sanford is a little bit larger — he might overpower Mojo.

And I can see that Mojo, when Mojo's tail
goes down, he doesn't wanna play, but then he comes right back in to elicit play again. He moves away again, not too sure. Does some sniffing. So, you can see, Joyce is keeping the leash
really loose, as am I. We need to have control, but we also want
to be as much out of the equation as possible to allow these dogs the ability to act as
naturally as they can while being leashed.

pexels photo 7210271

Now, what we're going to do now –the next
stage of this is the puppies seem to be pretty relaxed and comfortable with each other–
is that we're going to drop the leashes. We're not going to take the leashes off them
at this moment, because we want to make sure play is appropriate. So, we're just going to drop the leashes like
this — allow the pups to do what they want. Digging is a great behavior too. Sometimes, dogs will do things like itching
or scratching or digging — these are all great sort of displacement behaviors. They take focus off the actual dog itself
and allows the other dog to focus on something different. Now, what I'm gonna do now is Joyce and I
are gonna remove the leashes completely.

I'm gonna see if the dogs interact and play
with each other. And it's fine if the dog comes back to gain
confidence from the owner. Now, you can see, that Mojo is saying "come
play with me, come play with me." Both of the dog's mouths are open and very
relaxed. Now, what you hope is that if one puppy overpowers
the other, then the other one will tell them off. What Mojo did, right then, was to turn his
head away from Sanford, when he thought Sanford was being a bit too much. And that was great, because Sanford understood
that language and backed away — that's the kinda language that you want. It's so important that puppies of this age
get to understand canine language. Now, Sanford was a bit too much. Enough. Good, good. Sanford was a bit too much, and then Mojo
told Sanford off, just by having a little nip, a little snap at him. He's still interested in him, though, and
that's the way dogs say "Look, you were being too much." There's a bit of lip-licking going on, and
lip-licking is a stress signal.

Now, Mojo's had enough. Good. Now, we're going to take the dogs away from
each other. Good. Now, we're gonna allow the dogs to have a
bit of breather. I think this is very important, okay, that
you monitor this puppy play — because the last thing you wanna have happen is one of
the puppies to have a bad experience with the other puppy. The puppies who have a negative experience
with playing with another puppy, that might generalize to other puppies that they meet. So if you think that play is getting too rough,
or you think that one of the puppies, like Mojo is doing just there, got a little bit
upset and was starting to tell that to the other puppy, as Mojo was telling Sanford,
and then Sanford wasn't backing off, that's the time when you just come in and you separate
them. You always want the pups to have a good experience
during play.

When the puppies are playing, it's a really
good idea to call them away, and refocus their attention onto you during their play. That helps puppies realize that whenever you
call them, even if they're playing with another puppy, they have to come back to you. And that's how you socialize your puppy, positively. I'm Victoria Stilwell for eHow Pets..

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