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Socialization: Quality over Quantity

March 28, 2014

“Have your puppy meet 100 new people in 100 days! If your puppy is already showing signs of timidity or fear, triple that to 300 exposures in 100 days.” Have you read that before, or been given that advice?

Quality experiences matter more to your dog than the number, particularly if your dog is already showing fear. This is especially true with young animals. Tripling your puppy’s exposure to things that scare him or her is not going to eliminate the fear. Let’s picture your young child is terrified of heights, would making him face and focus heavily on that fear eliminate it? No, it could easily make him more fearful. Does that mean we should put our puppies in a bubble and not expose them to things? Absolutely not, but the logic is not there in making the experience happen more frequently when they are already shut down.

All socialization and experiences should be intentional. Instead of having a check list in your mind with a number, think of the experience. This is how we can build our dog’s confidence, successful experiences that leave the dog thinking, “That was fun!” Socialization is so important, but owners with good intentions could easily get lost in the number. We want our puppies to feel good, built up and confident that we are leading them to positive experiences.

Have questions about this? Feel free to ask us!

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About Austin Dog Zone

Austin Dog Zone formed in 2011. We offer dog training for all breeds and temperaments. We are committed to staying up-to-date on the most current scientific research available for dogs regarding both behavior and wellness. Our methods are effective, dog-friendly and family friendly.

2 Comments to “Socialization: Quality over Quantity”

  1. Sara Looney says:

    That particular puppy (Abbey) had her very first dog park experience last weekend. So. Much. Fun!

    We started socializing by going to Petco & Petsmart, and by going to kids’ soccer games. She is so much calmer in new places now that she’s used to having odd things happening around her.

    • Austin Dog Zone says:

      Hi Sara! Abbey is our poster child for this post. 😉 We are glad things are going well, she’s an awesome pup.

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