Fear and Force Free Doggy DayCare Serving South Portland and Surrounding Areas

What IS socializing your dog?

One of your top priorities for your new puppy or young dog should be socialization.
However, this is something that we see dog parents misunderstanding ALL the time.
I was at the river this weekend watching a man with his very young puppy, trying to get her to “like” the water by dragging her into it, forcing her to meet people even though it seemed overwhelming to her…
And I believe that this man had the best intentions- he was trying to “socialize” her.
Socializing your dog is less about your dog BEING SOCIAL, and more about teaching your dog that the world is a safe place where they can look to their human for reassurance and cues on how to behave and respond to stimulus.
As well-intentioned as this man might have been, he was actually hurting his relationship with the puppy, and flooding her emotionally by rushing experience she’s wasn’t yet sure of, which can actually lead to mistrust and increased fear, NOT proper socialization.
We’ve built our Puppy Preschool to develop our puppies self-confidence, trust in the humans around them, and joy in exploring and discovering new things- at their own pace.
We introduce things like wheelchairs, grooming equipment and procedures, having their body handled comfortably to prepare for vet visits and grooming, meeting new people and dogs, approaching unfamiliar things without making them frightened and uncomfortable.
All this leads to a maturing dog who trusts the world around them, feels safe approaching new people and situations, and is adaptive to their environment- our top goals!
Got questions about your puppy? Reach out to us at TheBarkYardMaine@gmail.com so we can help!