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Socializing your puppy

Jane-AnotherdayanotherholeBull Terrier puppies are capable  of learning at an early age and, like children,  they form lasting  impressions, tendencies, and habits during this time.  It can be a  make-it or break-it time for your pup when it comes to his  behavior. A  puppy that is exposed to a variety of sights, sounds, and  experiences  during this early period will be more likely to develop  proper  socialization skills and grow into a happy, healthy,  well-behaved older  dog.

Generally, important socialization  skills are learned when a  puppy is between 8 and 16 weeks of age. If  you are not diligent in  exposing your puppy to new people and places  during this time, he is  likely to suffer in the long run. As soon as  your new pup has reached at  least 8 weeks of age and been properly  vaccinated, the socialization  process can begin.

 A simple way to  get started is to take him for  a walk. If your neighborhood is  especially loud or crowded, you may  want to take him to a park instead.  It’s important that the environment  for his first socialization is  fun, safe, and stress-free, so your puppy  feels comfortable smelling,  exploring, and interacting. By taking a  walk together, you can expose  him to a wide variety of people, animals,  and other things at one time.

 When  other people show an interest  in your Bull Terrier, let them pet him so he can  get used to different touches  and smells. It’s also a good idea to  carry extra treats with you so some  of the people you meet can feed  your puppy a snack, which should help  to rid him of any fear of  strangers. When your pup is nose-to-nose with  another dog for the first  time, keep both dogs leashed, and make the  introduction slowly and  carefully. 

IMG_3139During early socialization,  your puppy should also  get a chance to hear different sounds, such as  jingling keys and  clapping hands, and smell different scents, such as  grass, dirt, and  other dogs. He should also be exposed to a variety of  sights, like  people wearing sunglasses or baseball hats, garbage cans,  and moving  cars. All exposure is good for your puppy during this  formative period,  to help alleviate his fears and ensure his comfort in  just about any  situation.

Keep your Bull Terrier puppy on a leash at all times  during the  walk, and during other socialization activities. This will  allow you to  keep him close to you and protect him if necessary, and he  will sense  this protection and feel more safe and secure. However, it’s  also  important not to coddle your dog or reward fearful behavior. If you   notice that he is fearful in a particular situation, modify it until he   feels more confident. For example, if he is fearful when surrounded by a   group of children, try to limit his contact with children to one child   at a time until he is more confident.

Socializing your Bull Terrier puppy  can  be time consuming, but it should be well worth it in the end. With  some  dedication and patience early on, your pup should mature into a   well-rounded, well-behaved older dog.

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Last modified on Monday, 17 December 2012 18:19
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