Socialization to Places
Socialization to locations and places are experiences that include all of your puppy or dogs senses (See previous article). Think about the places you will want your puppy to go to with you; camps, campgrounds, camper van or tent, hotels, sporting events, grandparents’ home outdoor café, outdoor concerts, playgrounds or your work place are typical examples.
As you plan exposures for your dog always consider your dog’s developmental stage temperament and personality. Well-structured socialization experiences keep your puppy in their thinking zone, the thinking zone is where your puppy is curious, interested and feels safe. Outside of the thinking zone is boredom, feeling overwhelmed or fear.
Make training and socialization a part of your life style. The more these experiences are integrated in to your daily activities the easier you find it to complete without feeling your adding a great deal of additional time to your already busy schedule.
Consider the places that your puppy will need to be going and their umwelt. Umwelt in ethology (the science of behavior) is the environment as it is experienced by each individual organism.
Typical examples of positive socialization experiences are are:
Vet Office, Exam Table Laundromat
Groomers Table Hardware stores
Crate in different places Outdoor Cafes
Bridges Some Major Stores
Stairs Automatic doors
Cross walks Puddles
It’s always a good practice to check with the establishment before bringing your dog in.
Places that may be negative socialization experiences are:
Crowded fairs or festivals House parties
Loud Concerts Sporting Events
Dog Park (see previous articles)
The American Kennel Club advises:
“The idea behind socialization is helping your puppy become acclimated to all types of sights, sounds, and smells in a positive manner. Proper socialization can prevent a dog from being always fearful of children, for example, or of riding in a car, and it will help him develop into a well-mannered, happy companion.
Also, having a dog who is well-adjusted and confident can even go as far as to save his life one day. According to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, improper socialization can lead to behavior problems later in life. Also, the organization’s position statement on socialization reads: “Behavioral issues, not infectious diseases, are the number one cause of death for dogs under three years of age.” If your dog becomes lost, the fact that he’s easily able to accept new places and people can better ensure he’ll be cared for until you locate him. And if something happens to you, he’ll have an easier time adjusting to a new caregiver or home.”