It seems like the role of dogs
in our families has shifted. We've put so much emphasis on dog to dog
play that it's almost changed the way that dogs interact. In today's video, I'm going to talk to you about the not
so popular opinion of dog socialization, but I am going to tell you like it or not, how you can give your dog the
best information possible. I'm Ken Steepe and welcome
back to McCann Dogs. [inaudible]. When we talk about socialization, the problem itself isn't
with the dog to dog play, but more so in the way that
we indiscriminately allow
our dogs to play with one another. I hate using a
human reference. I, you know, but sometimes it's the easiest way
to communicate the topics like this. So imagine if we were to have to hug or
shake hands with every stranger that we met, especially when we didn't want
to do that. For sure we didn't, we didn't get the opportunity to
say no, no thank you.
Not Today. That seems to be what
we're doing with our dogs. There are so many situations where I
hear about, you know on leash issues, aggression, fear, things that come up because we've
forced our dogs into these situations. The other thing is that if you give your
dog all of these opportunities to go and be rewarded, play with other dogs, have lots of fun and you never insist
that they come back or you wait until they're tired, completely
tired out to call them back. They're really learning that though those
other dogs that these other things are more valuable than you.
And that's something that I
wanted to talk about today. We've created all these
scenarios where, you know, we've built dog parks and we've created
all of these places that our dogs can interact with one another, but we really haven't focused on
the fact that we got a dog for us. We want to have a great
relationship with our dog. We want to give our dog all the
opportunities possible for them.
We didn't get our dog so that our neighbor
down the street who has a dog has a play thing. You know, we get our dogs
so that we can do more with them. And that's really where some of the, the discussion comes up that people
think that our dogs needs to go and greet other dogs, need to meet lots of
dogs to develop good social skills. But that's really not the case.
You need to be really careful when you
are figuring out how to socialize your dog with other dogs. Now we've talked a little bit about
setting your dog up to really see you as a leader and we want you to think about
introducing your dog to other dogs that you know a lot about or to, you know, a lot about their handler
or their own or you know, someone who's really on the ball. The worst case scenario is that people
take their dogs to the dog park and just see what happens. You roll
the dice or don't even care. I mean there are probably lots of Doggie
daycares out there that are really careful, but there are lots that aren't and just
sort of allow dogs to play together.
So I really want you to keep in mind that
once you start to introduce your dog, to socialize with other dogs, that you're very much
aware of what to expect. And there's a couple of tricks that we
use when we're introducing our dogs to other dogs that you can use as well. A lot of it has to do with matching
that personality dog with your own because a couple of things could happen
if you have a dog that's a little bit maybe more worried, it
needs to build confidence. If they're just getting rolled in, in,
you know, body slammed by big burly dogs, that's gonna break your dog's confidence.
And it might cause things like fear, aggression or you know, just not good behaviors or maybe your
is on the other side of the, the post, you know, they're the
one that's, you know, learning to be a bully or push other dogs
around and they're learning that when they act, you know, like that way the other dogs are going
to back off and they get what they want.
So, um, you know, when we're deciding
that we're going to let our Ho high, they're greedy, had a let our
dogs play with other dogs. I tried to pick and choose my dogs friends
wisely so that the dog that she plays with is going to, um, allow her to be confident and to make
good choices and to treat other dogs respectfully. And, and, um, I can often teach my dog that value by
lacking valuable lesson by picking the dog that she socializes
with very, very carefully.
Once we have chosen that new playmate,
that dog that we're going to work with, uh, to socialize with our dog, there's a few steps that we take to make
sure that the process goes smoothly. Number one, have a line, a long line or a leash on your dog so
that if [inaudible] on the other dog and on the other dog for sure, so
that if something were to happen, you're able to interrupt that
behavior. Separate the dogs. Now getting into this, we're hoping that you know enough about
that dog at that that doesn't happen, but you never know. You want
to be able to, um, you know, interrupt anything that
isn't going that well. Now this doesn't mean that
you're holding your dog on leash.
And this is one of the issues
we have with, uh, you know, as you're walking down the street with
your dog on leash and you meet someone who's also walking a dog, allowing those dogs to interact or meet
on leash can be a really dangerous thing because sometimes those dogs
feel like they can't go anywhere.
They can't make the choice to leave if
they feel like they need to. So, uh, you know, have you gone to socialize with another
dog while you're walking down the street with them? Both on a tight leash is
a bad idea to avoid that situation. Dog Bites start with dogs on leash. And the reason why is often as
if a dog is pulling on a leash, their body language is very tense.
And even though the dog itself
might not be feeling, you know, aggressive or anything like that, the dog that is interacting with it maybe
can perceive the body language a bit differently because they see a dog that's
stiff and pulling and that can often, you know, just lend to their
interactions being, you know, not really getting started off on the
right par right off on the right foot. So, right. Um, yeah, it's very dangerous to
let dogs meet on greet, meet on leash, especially if they don't know each other.
For sure. And this is often why
we hear people say, Oh yeah, my dog only barks at other, the other
dogs when they're on leash or you know, my dog is kind of aggressive
when they're on leash. A lot of these things
lead up to that point. So we need to be really
aware of that. Now, one skill that we make sure our dogs have
before we allow them to socialize with other dogs is a great response
to name a or even a great recall, making sure that we can call
our dogs away from this. A new situation could
be super exciting, maybe a little worrisome. We need to make sure that they have a
100% reliable recall on our hands before we will allow them to play or
engage with other dogs.
Yeah, because the problem is
people will say, okay, well I won't let my dog greet on
leash. They dropped the lease, they let the dog go and then they call
the dog back and the dog just ignores them and then they get to play with
other dogs while they're ignoring the handler or the owner and unfortunately
that teaches you drug pretty quickly. Then in that particular scenario, they don't need to come when they're
called because they can self reward by continuing to play. So it is important
to figure out. Speaking of play, there's a small poodle doing a
puppy burned around us right now. It's very important that before you're
going to give your dog the luxury of having freedom that you feel confident
that when you want to ask for their control back that you'll be able to
get that without having to have a big battle.
Another mistake that people will make is
introducing their dog to a new dog in a confined space. So for
example, your kitchen, although it might be the one of the
largest kitchens around it may seem like a pretty confining space for your dog. So give your dog a nice wide open area
to introduce them for the first time. And that way they'll feel a little bit
less pressure that they need to have a good social interaction. It allows them, gives them some freedom
to choose their response. Socializing your dog with other dogs
doesn't necessarily have to be restricted to playing as well. Um, often when we have a new puppy
or we have a new dog with us, we will socialize them with our other
dogs in a more controlled manner, like kicking them for a walk.
For example, they're, you know, they're close together.
be walking, they're under control. Or one of our favorite things
to do and we have a young puppy, is to practice doing some basic obedient
skills with the puppy while the other dogs are just sort of hanging around. So the puppy is learning to listen
when the other dogs are around and even though they're not playing,
they're still being socialized. They're still learning how to be
respectful and how to act around the other dogs. And we try to sort of do those things
first before we really let them get into the whole play thing. Because
again, at the end of the day, we want the dog to be more bonded
and listened to listening to us than, than we do, you know, forgetting who
we are and playing with other dogs, playing with other dogs
is not what we're against. It's what do we have from the dog or
what can we get from the dog first before using that particular resource,
which is a ton of fun for dogs.
Um, as more of a reward for the fact
that we have great control first. Here's the other great part about that
is that you're using these other dogs as a bit of a distraction. So you're
actually making that skill, whether it's a sit or a
walking, unleash, whatever. It is stronger because it forces your
dog to make that choice to check in with you or to be distracted by the other
dog. So I mean that's a double whammy. If you can do some of that, some of that
controlling those control exercises, a little bit of obedience training with
that other dog around in a non pressure situation that can really, you know, make great leaps and bounds for
your relationship with your dog. I think that that's one of the most
beneficial thing of going to a dog cost is as well.
Especially our dog
classes. We do, you know, some dog to dog socialization
when the puppies are very, very small and it's extremely monitored.
But once we get into, you know, the six month and older range, um, the socialization that the
dog gets is more controlled. So they might be practicing their sit, stay beside another dog that's
also doing the same thing. Or maybe one dogs practicing some walking
around other dogs that are practicing as sit, stay or a down stay. So they're learning how to listen
around other dogs.
And, um, you know, a lot of people say, oh my dog so well
trained or my dog listens so well, but they're in the backyard all by
themselves or they're in the kitchen while they're cutting food for dinner. And of
course the Donna's going to be perfect. What's really cool is when you get to
the point where your dog can learn to listen really well, uh, do you
when there's other dogs around, because in my opinion, that's one of
the hardest distractions there are. Absolutely. And I think it really reinforces the
fact that we don't disagree with allowing your dogs to play with or socialize
and interact with other dogs, but you, we insist that you have expectations for
them because they deserve that because you will have expectations of them
in other scenarios and you need to be consistent about those.
really keep that in mind. You're looking for some exercises
to get more control of your dog. Then make sure you click
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every single week up. You'd have a well behaved four legged
family member. On that note, I'm Ken. I'm Kale. I be training..