Friday, May 31, 2013

Let's Talk Bonding and Socialization

First- Are bonding and socialization the same?  I guess not!  Experts telll us that bonding, in it's simpliest terms, is the "attachment, interaction and caring between a dog and his owner."  This bonding makes him more readily trainable.  It helps the pup to understand his place in the pack.  The bond is established by petting, handling, feeding and other attention that the pup receives from his owner.   Experts feel that the period from forty nine to eighty four days is the best time to form the human - dog bond.  This bond becomes even stronger with the one on one time spent in training.  Dogs that are raised outside or in a kennel without the benefit of much human interaction will most likely become fearful and standoffish.

On the flip side, socialization requires taking the pup outside the home to other locations.  Thus he is able to experience some of the freedoms and pitfalls that he might encounter in his life.  The only way we can achieve a well rounded dog that is confident and secure is to introduce him to as many situations as possible.  Once he has finished all of his puppy shots, he is ready to meet the outside world.  This exposure should include other dogs and people as well as different environments.  If he is not allowed interaction with other dogs, he may become fearful or aggressive around them.  Also overly protected  dogs with owners that are overly affectionate may grow to be apprehensive, fearful and nervous--lacking self confidence.  Remember,  BALANCE  is important.

Anyone who knows me has heard me preach many times:  bonding and socialization may be the most important activities that you engage in with your pup.  You are helping him to grow into a confident adult but it is also an important time for you and your pup to get to know each other. 

Have Fun -------------- Be Patient

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Training Dogs . . . Educating Families

During the fifty years that I have been in the dog business I have been asked lots of questions by clients, friends and family about all kinds of "doggie" issues.  Some are about behavioral problems, certainly, but many are just general dog knowledge questions.  So . . .in this weekly blog I will share my thoughts, ideas and experiences of "all things dog."

The reasons we train our dogs have many facets.  However I will assure you that without training, your dog will never meet his full potential nor will the family get the full benefit from dog ownership.  Training enhances the bond between you and your dog.  It serves as the foundation for setting boundaries and solving problems.  Training allows you and your dog to establish communication.  By learning to communicate you provide a structure in the home where the pup knows what is expected of him and what he can expect from you.  As you learn to "read" your dog, that is understand his body language, you will develop a long rewarding relationship.

PLEASE----Find a trainer that will work with you and your family and follow through with consistency.  It is a small price to pay for the many years of enjoyment you will experience.