Dogs are naturally social animals. In fact, their lives often depend on strong social skills in the wild. Left to their own devices, a young puppy is going to happily explore and interact with as many other animals as it can!
Socialise Your Puppy
Designer Breeds have been developed as social dog breeds with both people as well as other dogs. Friendly breeds such as Cavoodles, Spoodles and Groodles have no shortage of playmates at the dog park as they are quickly recognizable for their friendly disposition. Beagliers retain their puppy looks for most of their lives, while other designer breeds such as Moodles and Poochons are of a small size that is difficult to be intimidating to any but the smallest of dog breeds.
You can start introducing your little one to new experiences and other animals, like the friendly cat or other family dog, as soon as you get home. Reward both dogs for interacting with each other, and make these encounters into a game if you can.
Invite neighbors & other family members over to meet your new puppy, encouraging them to play with the pup. Supervising closely, allowing your niece or nephew, son or daughter (children) to play with the pup. Your goal is to let your puppy know these other animals mean good things for him, so he doesn’t consider something he has never met before a potential threat later on.
- Important: Make sure every interaction or experience is a happy one!
- Always provide careful supervision!
- Introduce your puppy to as many new experiences and creatures as possible!
- Introduce your puppy to the ‘friendly’ cat.
- Bring other dogs around.
- Invite family & friends over to meet your puppy.
- Try to make new interactions into fun games!
- Help your pup get used to, and enjoy, car rides early- before he is a much larger grown adult.
Puppy ‘Obedience’ Classes
Obedience skills, like ‘sit’ and ‘stay’, or ‘down’ are usually the first things that come to mind when someone thinks of puppy obedience classes. In reality, these classes often teach the dog’s owner how to train their puppy more than the traditional ‘teacher/student’ you might think of. But they help impact your puppy’s growth in an often unexpected way, much more valuable than simple obedience skills. It is easy for larger designer breeds such as Standard Groodles to accidentally hurt smaller puppies while excitedly playing, so spending supervised time in an obedience class will quickly show the larger dogs what sort of play is acceptable with smaller dogs.
Puppy classes are fantastic opportunities to immerse your pup in a social setting with other young dogs, eager to make friends, play and interact! As long as there are other puppies, obedience classes are both great for building social skills, and are recommended for any young pup.
Bite Inhibition (‘Soft Mouth’)
When one puppy unintentionally bites another too hard during play, the ‘victim’ yelps and scurries away; play stops for both pups. The biter wants to keep playing, so he learns not to bite his siblings so hard next time. The principle is called ‘Bite Inhibition’, or the ability of a dog to control his bite pressure.
Anyone who has raised a puppy from 8 weeks knows how painful those incessant little needle teeth can be! Don’t worry; by mimicking a dog’s natural interactions, you can continue this training. If your puppy accidentally bites your hand too hard during play, simply ‘yelp’, act injured (even if you aren’t), and immediately stop playing. Of course your pup wants the play to continue, so he will learn to avoid hurting your skin the next time you two are playing.