Puppy Socialization

Topic: The do’s and dont’s of puppy socialization.


Jamie Hulan,CPDT-KA is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Accredited District Area Pet Training Instructor/Professional, Premier Member APDT (Association of Professional Dog Trainers), AKC Approved Evaluator for S.T.A.R. Puppy, CGC, Community Canine and Urban CGC, a Supporting Member IAABC, a Certificate recipient as Off leash play Instructor-Evaluator, amember of “The Dog Guru’s-Knowing Dogs” program, a Certificate recipient for First aid and CPR from PetTech, a Certified Evaluator for Therapy Pets Unlimited, and a Supporting Member of Golden State, Second chance & Northern California: German Shepherd Rescue.

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Kat: Welcome everybody. I am Kat Camplin.

Becca: Hello. This is Becca Hintz.

Kat: And we are here with Jamie who Lynn is human, Hugh, Lynn,

Jamie: Hugh, Lynn.

Kat: Hi, Jamie. I. We are here to talk about puppy, socialization, all things puppy. So Jamie wanted to start with a getting a little bit of information about yourself.

Jamie: Okay. I started training somewhere around the against mid seventies. It was my first dog tried to get into a class down the street at one of the local trainers. And she taught me a lot about dogs and training and then I found out a lot of the stuff that she told me somewhere around the late eighties was actually wrong and then I found Dr Ian Dunbar. And Dr Dunbar changed my life, and he switched me over from being a old yanking crank kind of trainer to positive reinforcement. And then I got my independent certification in 2010 finally when I could afford it and took the test became CPDT-KA through the. See CPT certification council, and then I became a member of IAABC the association professional dog trainers. I’m supporting member of ADC, I’ve been on FOX forty news. If you times once with my dog Argo the wonder dog and couple times by myself. I work for a large pet store is where I work at now. And I have a lot of fun. And it’s it’s one of those things that it’s makes me very glad when I see people understand their dogs better and have better relationship with them than when I used to experience back way back in the day.

Kat: Yes. I always sort of had a question about the term “crossover” because it’s not like you step over the line. It’s a process.

Becca: Exactly.

Kat: It’s it’s not like you’re going the ladies at the end of the tunnel in you, just go. There are so many things along the way I clicker trained, most of the competitive, obedient stuff except healing. Because I didn’t know how to do it without the pop, and I did that for a long time. Like, my dog was completely clicker trained on the retrieve and scent articles and all that stuff. But I was still using a choke chain. So it is a long process.

Jamie: And you figured it out. Did you figure it out?

Kat: I did. You know, and it’s a way of seeing right? So as a correction, trainers or balanced trainers were sorta geared towards looking for what the dog is done wrong and waiting for that to happen so that we can correct it instead of preventing it from the beginning actually seeing the good that happens before the bad happens.

Jamie: Yes.

Kat: So it’s much more. A way of seeing than away training. And for me. The hardest part was getting rid of this pop muscles. Like it took forever to not feel that pressure on a leash and pop back.

Becca: That muscle memory is so strong. So we were came today to talk about puppy socialization. And I think the first question is when is that socialization period?

Jamie: The big critical socialization socialization period is anywhere between three to four weeks old and about twelve weeks. Oh, that’s what you could get easy socialization easy. You can still do it afterwards. But it’s much harder. Because at around twelve weeks when we see a lot of fear starting in the dog. So if they’ve never seen a plastic bag blown in the wind. They’ll start to alert to it and wonder what the heck is that? And then at twelve weeks to sixteen weeks, I tell people that’s when your door of opportunity too easily socialize them starch to close at.

Kat: I think I’d be helpful to actually define socialization because I think for a lot of people at means, oh, we’re gonna take them to puppy class in.They’re gonna learn to play with other dogs, and that’s marketed as a puppy socialization class that that’s not necessarily all socialization is.

Jamie: No, it’s getting used to people of all sizes people of all ages different types of dogs, also sands, smells and textures. Because if if you don’t get them used to other things like there used to walking on grass, for example, then you try to take them across a pebbled area. They don’t know what that is. What’s underfoot? I don’t necessarily want them to go out. Just let them have a free for all that socialization party for puppies ’cause they can actually get a lot of bad experiences there, depending. Other dogs that are actually in the the socialization party.

Kat: Veterenarians are worried about the dog dying from preventable disease. That is a completely legitimate concern. For the dog trainer or the behavior consultant, our biggest fear is a dog dying because bid kid in the face.

Becc: Yup.

Kat: So it’s it is in that is a legitimate concern. That you have euthanasia for behavior problems. That are completely preventable. We need to work together to do this and part of that is to create safe socialization and going to safe places and making it as safe as possible while exposing it so that we’re not also exposing it to disease.

Becca: For those that are going to exposures outside of socialization class. But one of the things that I always recommend going into new places, your car, the vet’s office park speeches shopping areas places we have downtown square where lots of people walk by lots of dogs and lots of cars. I keep strollers on hand that I loaned to my clients. So that we can throw the dogs in stroller when they’re vaccine’s aren’t complaint, take them out, and let them experience everything without putting them at risk.

Jamie: Exactly, I try to tell them look when you’re out in about, you know, you could carry your puppy and things like that you can even go to different places take a blanket cover, whatever the dog is going to be in, say a basket or something like if you go into the pet store, something put your blanket in that basket, you go into a vet office. You don’t have to necessarily make an appointment. You could actually go just into the inside the door carrying them in have receptionist and stuff have them actually, give them a treat. Let the dog here and smell the sounds that are going on. And then leave same thing if you’re gonna use a groomer later on he need to find a groomer that you can kind of get to know, and the actually your puppy can get to know that groomer to.

Becca: Exactly. It’s always important to remember what season you have peppy right now, I have several clients with Pepys and they’re getting socialized to umbrellas raincoats. People wearing long bulky things, rubber boots. But when I have summer puppies people forget about that. And. We need to expose our summer puppies to the same things at the same time for our our puppies that are being raised in the winter. What things are you going to do in the summer whenever I sit down with a new client, we actually do a lifestyle plan. How do you live your life? So that I can figure out what this puppy needs to learn. So that they can fit into this family in the lifestyle that they live. One of the things we haven’t touched on is handling your puppy has to be able to go to the vet, Jamie talked about the groomer, if they need to go to the vet and get examined and they’re not used to having their body touched or somebody checking out their their anus their ears there eyes their teeth. That’s gonna be a challenging experience. But that’s something that we work on with socializing puppies. It’s about handling as well.

Jame: Yes. Also I start right about now is when I start getting them to understand fourth of July coming.


Jamie: And he we’re gonna have a lot of explosions if you’re anybody like my neighbors, so, I tell them go to the internet and going YouTube and find, you know, fourth of July celebrations, you could also found all kinds of noises there, I know that different places like Victoria Stillwell’s website things. Like that sells sounds. You can also get a sound CD to play and that way, you control the volume.

Becca: That’s great.

Kat: YouTube is a great place. Did you know that there is the trash truck YouTube channel. You can find your truck doing your beeps on the trash truck Youtube channel. Completely awesome.

Jamie: You could find all kinds of things on YouTube.

Becca: Well, and the neat thing about it as if you have a puppy that is a little softer perhaps a little challenged by noise. One of the things I love to do as I use YouTube. And I start it on my phone with the volume turned down low, and we get the puppy to realize that this is a fun noise. It doesn’t mean anything scary. But if I threw it on my television at, you know, the surround sound loud level, I would just totally destroy that puppy. So you have to look at the puppy. You’re working with and say, okay, what does this puppy need? Another one I really work on again this goes to lifestyle if I make a young couple or young single person with a puppy, it never occurs to them that that dog needs to be socialized to babies crying. We can find that on YouTube to toddlers because if they’ve got a puppy at twenty five there’s a good chance at thirty there might be a baby coming into this picture, and we need to think ahead. And again, that’s why we look at the lifestyle. They’re planning to lead because we have to plan for that.

Kat: So for my puppy clients, I do a lot of puppies. I I actually I love working with them. And then coming home and keeping my shoes. I get my puppy fix without, actually, you know, having one in my house. So what we talk about is sort of separating their target socialization checklist towards what their lifestyle’s gonna be and I break that down into sounds. So we’re looking at lawnmowers, leaf blowers, fireworks, sirens. All of that stuff. Trash trucks,

Becca: Vacuum cleaners

Kat: Right, vacuum cleaners. Right. So were looking at the sounds that they will be experiencing in their life. If there is a boat in their life to come the the, boat engines and all that stuff.

Becca: Good.

Kat: We then look at things that move things that might be kind of scary bikes skateboards again, the lawnmowers weird men in backpacks. Flapping flags on is one that I’ve seen some sensitively to other things that.

Jamie: Feathers.

Kat: Balloons. Things that moved right? And there’s things that they will be writing in on right? So kayaks boats are these meeting all kinds of people what kind of people are going to be in their life. Are they going to be, you know, on a walker, so number of my older plants now have their parents who can no longer live by themselves or now in the house in their walking with walkers in their wheelchairs so again things that move coupled with people. And other dogs, right? So dogs behind fences barking at them learning how to ignore those and have appropriately played with donkey friends yet or anything else on my list that you guys mentioned?

Becca: I think people moving, toddlers are fast, and they they run a lot. And so I really work on people moving, and if I have somebody that’s doing yoga the dog needs to learn that, that’s okay. Moms allowed to stand on her head. And it’s not a scary thing. A lot of times when we have puppies, we tend to put them away when we’re doing our normal activities. So we can get it done, but they need to see those things. So if you have a spouse that works in a shop with power tools, the puppy needs to go out there for few minutes from a distance, see what’s going on and learned that it’s no big deal. The number of dogs I get that have an issue with brooms, you know, when we sweep the floor because you always put the puppy away while you cleaned and now they’re not sure that that’s such a great thing. So I really emphasize we have to let our dogs. See us live life yet.

Kat: I forgot about wildlife.

Becca: Yes.

Kat: So in my area, we have we have the Canadian geese that just sort of like land in the yard and start munching,and the deer that come in and start munching. We’re headed into rattlesnake season. And one of my puppy clients showed up at his back door with frog legs sticking out of his mouth. So they also need to be exposed that that living, moving things aren’t toys.

Becca: Exactly.

Kat: And how to differentiate what they can play with and what they can’t play with.

Jamie: And we got to get them used to just typical animals. I don’t really have a lot of deer coming through my yard, since I live in the city limits, but I do have to when I go to the capital there is the mounted police, and so horses are there. If I’m out visiting someone of theirs cows, cats some had one person that had a parakeet in their house. And I haven’t get my dog to understand. So the dog had understand what birds and everything were.

Kat: So what’s the weirdest thing that you have had to desensitize?

Jamie: Now that’s going to make me think now.

Becca: So I had I have a good one for this. I donate behavior several rescues, and I have a theater company that if I will train a dog to perform a production. They will advertise extensively the rescue for me. And we donate money back to the rescue. And so I always try to use a rescue dog. And I had a Yorkie Chihuahua cross that we chose to perform in Anne. Not Anne, Wizard of Oz, and Charley was a lovely little dog given up by his family for some potty issues. Some basic stuff he did not walk on floors. He walked on carpet. At the time I had full carpets in the house, and we went out the back door, and then I always picked him up to carry out the front door. And I didn’t catch it until we went to the theater for his first dress rehearsal set him down he wouldn’t move. And I thought wait a minute. And his old house was all carpet. I brought him home. I put him on my floor. He wouldn’t move. I set him on the carpet. He ran crazy. So I had to desensitize him too hard floors. So that he could be Toto and it worked, but it was a really good wakeup call. Never leave anything to the last minute.

Jamie: I did have a dog that was not did not like Santa Claus. And then one time they took him to a store that had Easter bunny and the and the head of the Easter bunny. Of course, eyes don’t move or anything. Then they got these ears and they just stay ended stare at the dog. Yeah. And so we had to take the head put it on the floor. Get them used to it it lifted up put it on the person which ended up being me in the head was way too big for me. But I still had to put it on. And then take it off. But little things like that. Don’t think about it’s going on especially like Santa Claus.

Kat: Yes.

Becca: Kat what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever had?

Kat: Let’s see I had a four month old standard poodle that was suddenly incredibly afraid of fire hydrants. I guess they look like stint stiffler children with their arms out.

Becca: That’s funny.

Kat: One of my clients sister had a pig statue in the backyard that I had to desensitize let the dog know that it wasn’t evil

Becca: Not gonna eat him.

Kat: Yeah. I just think it was just a stiff again, the stiffness, you know, a thing that they know but doesn’t move right? So the statue was quite realistic looking in, you know, it looks like an animal and it had little tail and has a face and eyes. But it’s not moving. In the same thing with the fire hydrant stick things that they should be moving but aren’t.
So last thoughts on socialization

Jamie: That it’s important for this. It’s a critical socializing stage. And it’s called that for a reason.

Becca: if there’s anything you wanna do to make a lifetime of success with your dog. It’s socialize your puppy.

Kat: We’d like to thank Jamie Hewlett for joining us to discuss puppy socialization today. Pop by our Facebook page by searching for how do you train that? And leave a message or a comment or give us an idea for a topic for future podcast. In the meantime, train your dog.