Raising People-Friendly Dogs

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raising people friendly dogs, puppy training, dog training

The MOST important attribute a dog should have is that of sociability with other people.

So many people want a dog that scares people away or is protective.

But, just HAVING a dog is a deterrent for most people.

I have had dogs that didn’t like people, and trust me, you don’t really want that.

When your dog doesn’t like people, every social interaction is stressful.

When your dog doesn’t like people, he is a liability.

No one wants a dog that might bite anyone at the drop of a hat.

I have a protection trained dog, and, ironically, she is one of the most social dogs I have ever owned. She loves people!

A dog can be protective in certain situations and still be social with people.

Sociability Matters

I would much rather have a dog that I can trust with people and human interaction!

Start Young

People underestimate how important it is to socialize puppies while they are young.

This is a very important step in your puppy training.

It sounds trite, but if you wait too long, it will be so much more difficult!

It is possible, for some dogs, but it is so much easier to socialize a young puppy.

raising people friendly dogs, puppy training, dog trainingThe first fear imprint stage happens between 8-11 weeks old, and, at this time, it is best to introduce your puppy to people and children you know and trust.

A negative experience can last a lifetime if it happens during these crucial periods.

At 12 weeks, and after your puppy has received some vaccinations, you can begin taking your puppy out to experience more of the world and more people and places.

I still recommend controlling “people and kids” to the best of your ability. Meaning, I don’t allow kids that I don’t know to pick up my puppies or play with them without my watchful eye.

I try to take my puppies to as many places as possible so that they can get used to what the world looks like.

Make sure to take them to the city and the country and any other experiences that your adult dog might look forward to later in life.

If you don’t, you will end up with a fearful dog who is afraid to be in new situations and meet new people.

Treats

I am a believer that new people should offer my puppy a treat.

I want a puppy that enjoys meeting new people and if new people equal treats, chances are he is going to come to that conclusion a lot faster.

BUT…

raising people friendly dogs, puppy training, dog trainingI do things a little differently.

I keep the best treats for ME to reward my puppy for good behavior.

I give other people mediocre treats to give my puppy.

For instance, I keep the liver treats for myself to give to my puppy and I give new people a basic biscuit to give my puppy.

I mean, a biscuit is good, but it is the liver he is really working for!

I want to be in control of all the best things in my dog’s life.

Plus, it keeps my dog from getting way too overexcited when he meets new people.

Meeting people is exciting enough, but meeting people with treats can be even more exciting.

That kind of excitement can get out of control and lead to jumping and excitement nipping.

By me having the best treats, my dogs learn to sit and pay attention to me more than anyone else!

It is a pretty cool trick, if you think about it.

 

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There are 4 Comments

  1. Brenda Pendleton says:

    I enjoy reading your tips on dogs and training but my Shih Tzu is now 5yo. How likely is it that training can help now. She is wonderful but very very stubborn and at times she won’t even respond to her name.

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    Minette Reply:

    It is not about age, it is about the consistency with the training.

    [Reply]

  2. William Etter says:

    Our bejon-poo is excited about greeting people and barks, barks, barks with a joyful greeting when at home. Once inside and having been acknowledged and petted, he is very loving and finds someone and sits on their lap. On our walks he greets people, even children quietly. I guess he just likes company, but the excessive barking when we open the door is annoying to us and perhaps scarey to those who do not know him. We need a way to control that door bell barking.

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  3. Hi Minette

    I have a rescue puppy who came to live with me at +/- 5 months old. He’s now +/-10 months old. I take him almost everywhere and he’s a good dog, but I know that he has been mistreated by some young boys when he was still very young. I do as you suggest, let new kids offer him a treat. This goes well for about 5 minutes and then he starts to back away and to be very fearful again. I try to read his signals as best as I can, but I can’t seem to put my finger on it.
    What I do now, especially to get him used to a lot of noise kids make, is to pass by a kindergarten school when it’s recess and they’re all playing outside. The first time I could only pass once for him to start barking, now I can go for 10 minutes of regular passing (I do a little circle around the school). This works for the noise and he’s a lot calmer, but of course they are behind a fence.
    I don’t have any small kids in the family to train with…

    Do you have any suggestions on how I can be more careful in reading his signals and how I can train this better?

    Thank you!

    [Reply]

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