What is Socialisation?

What is Socialisation?

You will hear the word ‘socialisation’ often spoken by dog owners, enthusiasts, and professionals alike, but what does it really mean?

Dog and catWhen raising a puppy you might hear the word repeated often without any true appreciation or understanding of its significance.  For a long time now we have been told that we must socialise our puppies at the earliest opportunity and introduce them to all other dogs so that they might become tolerant of all dogs.  This in part is true, but this approach does not explain socialisation in its truest sense or properly suggest how such socialisation should take place.

Mismanaged interactions may have negative consequences and lead to the development of behavioural problems later in life, whilst a lack of early socialisation can equally bring about similar complex problems.

How we define dog socialisation at TWOTD?

The Way of the Dog holds the view that socialisation is the purposeful act of familiarising puppies and dogs to the environment in which they live, occupy, or visit so that the animal acts in a way that is considered acceptable.

It is important that dogs become familiar with sensations, actions, objects, and living things within a variety of different environments or circumstances. Failure to introduce the dog to such things may lead to the dog demonstrating a reluctance to approach or accept unfamiliar situations and develop ways to avoid or escape them; this might include strategies that involve aggression.

iStock_000006122272MediumThe primary socialisation period for a young dog is considered to be from 3 – 12 weeks old, and is the most important period of social development.  This is why it is absolutely essential to choose very carefully where you obtain your puppy.  A reputable and ethical breeder will likely commence socialisation as soon as the 3 week point is reached.

Puppy socialisation by TWOTD

If a puppy is not correctly socialised during the early sensitive periods there is a possibility that a dog will never adjust to or accept novel events later in life.  It is therefore essential that time and effort is taken to appropriately socialise a puppy to as many events as possible.  The Way of the Dog takes this role very seriously and delivers bespoke puppy development courses that focus on properly managed socialisation whilst developing confidence and shaping character.

 

  • Socialisation should always be carefully managed and not delivered randomly or without any consideration to how a particular dog may react.
  • Dogs can be bold or cautious, weak or strong; they may dive in to a situation without hesitation or demonstrate much reluctance, they are all very different even at such an early stage.
  • Puppies should always be carefully introduced to other puppies and caution should always be exercised when introducing them to adult dogs.
  • Enrolling a puppy in a group puppy class is not always the best approach to socialisation as a mismanaged class can be responsible for the development of fearful or aggressive temperaments if the puppy is subjected to negative experiences.

Commit to thorough socialisation of your dog

Social maturity and development continues through to the 18 – 24 month point depending upon the individual dog.  It is possible that a dog can become unusually sensitive to any event or circumstance during this period.  Puppies considered to be socialised during their early months may suddenly develop what seem like irrational fears towards events that at one time caused them no concern.  Therefore, socialisation should always be carefully managed and maintained during the first year of a dog’s life and owners should consider sustaining such approaches beyond until a dog is considered to be a well-adjusted adult.

If you’d like to enrol your new dog on one of our bespoke Puppy Development Courses, please Contact Shaun today.

Related Articles:

https://thewayofthedog.co.uk/will-train-dog/

https://thewayofthedog.co.uk/how-do-you-choose-a-trainer/

 

Here Comes the Sun – Dogs Die in Hot Cars!

Here Comes the Sun – Dogs Die in Hot Cars!

It takes only a matter of minutes for you to lose your loving companion when left in the oven that could be your car!  The sun is out and it is beautiful, but the sun beating down on a parked vehicle with a dog trapped inside is likely to end in a horrendous death.  Depending upon the outside temperature it could take a matter of minutes before the inside of the vehicle is so hot that a dog will die an agonising and painful death.19382550_l

“Even on a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can quickly soar to as high as 120 degrees. Shock sets in as the dog’s internal temperature rises, and death can occur in just 15 minutes. It’s a gruesome, terrifying way to die—dogs struggle to escape the vehicle, often salivating heavily, losing control of their bladder and bowels, and clawing the car windows so violently that their paws become bloodied.” (PETA, 2013)

Dogs-DieNow that the summer has arrived it is fitting that we remind ourselves of how dangerous the sun can be to our faithful companions.  There is no sense in taking chances, a window left open sufficiently to allow some air circulation will not save your dog if the temperature soars, dogs can still die with the window open.  Each summer people take risks believing that their dog will be safe only for the unthinkable to happen.  The RSPCA report that they receive over 6000 calls a year concerning distressed dogs left in cars.

Don't Cook Dog PosterIn 2011 the Dogs Today magazine launched a “Don’t Cook Your Dog” campaign urging dog owners to join.  The Way of the Dog would like to take the opportunity to remind people of this campaign but more importantly to remind people of the need to protect their dogs from the effects of the sun.  A dog can start to suffer in as little as two minutes when trapped in a hot car; this can lead to damaged organs, brain damage, and death.

Protect your dog from the sun and do not leave it in the car on any occasion, there is no safe time limit, the only safe place is outside the car.

Attached are some interesting articles that relate to dogs being left to die in cars.  There is also a poster attached that you can download and publicise courtesy of Dog’s Today magazine.

Related Articles:

http://www.dogstodaymagazine.co.uk/dontcookyourdog/

http://www.peta.org/blog/spread-word-dogs-die-hot-cars/

http://www.vetsonline.com/news/latest-headlines/veterinary-practices-urged-to-support-poster-campaign.html

http://www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/pets/dogs/health/dogsinhotcars

 

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