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

Uploaded by eHowPets on 19.07.2012

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. 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.