How to Socialize your Puppy!

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I wanted to take a moment to respond to a minority of comments on this video. While the video currently enjoys a 96+% like to dislike ratio, I have noticed a handful of comments criticizing this video for not featuring dogs that are not dog friendly. For example one viewer writes:

“No real info here… you are showing ideal scenarios while you should be addressing real scenarios, aggressiveness is the issue when dogs meet… “

Among beginners and intermediate trainers there is often this idea that we need to wait for problems to emerge before addressing them. Particularly in the area of puppy socialization, the best medicine is prevention. If you hope to excel in understanding and modifying dog behavior there is one point you need to understand. Preparation and prevention are essential to showing a dog how to behave in our culture. If more people knew to take the advice I offered in this video, then we would have fewer issues in this department. So to this viewer and others who’ve echoed this sentiment, I would say that ABSOLUTELY I am showing ideal scenarios! Showing your dog from day one how to behave around dogs will prevent future issues from arising much of the time.

As you know, I routinely address reactivity, nervous dogs and fearful dogs in my videos all the time. A lot of us adopt an older dog or under socialize our dogs while they are young and are left with the dilemma of what to do when our dogs are older and are not very accepting of people and dogs. I’m sure I’ll address this more in the future on a case by case basis. But that’s just it, once your dog has crossed into a pattern of behavior that is potentially dangerous to you, other people, or other animals, then we need to address that on an individual basis (as you’ve seen me do in several videos) and there is no broad brush stroke that will fix that.

The best dog trainers do everything they can to show their dogs how to behave rather than how NOT to behave. That’s not to say we can’t “fix” dogs who have social issues, it’s that this is a completely different topic. The person who just got a dog MUST know the info. in this video.

I certainly do not want to discourage those critical of my lessons. This is one way that everyone can learn and grow. And the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my career have come directly from you. I just felt that these critiques were coming from a place that lacks experience and understanding of dog behavior which is why I wanted to clarify my point a bit more.

The aim of this video was to give people a general idea as to how to make sure that their dog remains comfortable with new dogs moving forward, and socialization can be a complex issue. Obviously I cannot address every aspect of canine social behavior in a single lesson. This video is for the average person with an average dog. But I do pride myself on showcasing a variety of scenarios and I’ll continue to do that in the future.

Thank you!

-Zak George

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