in my last newsletter i talked a lot about the importance of early puppy socialization, which is one of the most important tasks a puppy parent must take on when adopting a puppy. but what if you adopt an older dog and don't have the opportunity to socialize her with people when she's a baby? well, don't worry, it can still be done. just take it slow and easy. invite one friend over to your home at a time. with your rascal on leash, have your friend sit across from you, ignoring your dog. while you sit and talk nonchalantly, give your rascal lots of treats.
we met adorable otis just a few months ago when he was even tinier than he is now. his mom and dad, lisa and dave, just wanted some puppy training for their sweet addition to their wonderful family and dove right in.
otis took to his training like a little genius, and quickly learned his new skills, with the help of his dedicated mom, lisa. he “leaves it” like you wouldn’t believe and loves to go to his bed.
he’s also a little star in hermosa beach. he loves to ride on his dad’s bike and say hi to all his local friends, both two- and four-legged. he’s mr. social and loves everyone.
never handle aggression with aggression. if your dog is reactive and has a "blow-up," stay calm, redirect her, get her settled and praise her once she is calm too. giving your pup a "correction" or punishment not only is not fair (she is just scared or anxious), but it can cause the reactivity to become worse, and will breakdown the trust between you and your pup. i know it's easier said then done, but do your best, take a deep breathe and stay calm in the midst of the storm.
three things you can do TODAY to build your relationship with your dog:
praise them for "offering" you good behavior. if they walk up to you, lay down, and settle, don't take it for granted, let them know they are a "good boy," for being so well mannered. sometimes we forget!
play a recall game ~ throw a treat 6-10 feet away from you (in your home), then as they go to grab it, run the other away, calling their name in a crazy, happy, fun fashion.
when teaching your dog to walk on leash, think of it as a dance. You are the leader (not as in pack leader, but as in dance partner), you are guiding your dog along the dance floor, being graceful and gentle. No pulling, tugging or jerking. What kind of dance partner would do that?
Lose yourself in the music between you and your dog.