Kata Rocks
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


The social animal - Educating your dog

The term ‘Socialisation’ (much like the term ‘Aggression’) is one of the more misunderstood terms people often use. Most people think having a socialised dog means they will play and engage with everyone and everything. But in essence, what you’re saying is you want a ‘friendly’ dog – and that really depends on your dog’s base character. Some dogs like being part of a pack, others prefer to be more aloof – a bit like people.

PetsCommunity
By Russell D Russell

Sunday 4 November 2018, 04:00PM


Socialising your dog is not humanising your dog. Photo: Charles Deluvio

Socialising your dog is not humanising your dog. Photo: Charles Deluvio

So, how do we get our puppies to be ‘truly’ social animals that are a pleasure to have around?

People
It’s important for our pups to meet and engage with as many different people as possible. Different heights, ages, voices, sizes, long hair, beards, walking sticks and so on – these all create different pictures for our dog. But it’s not about getting these people to run up and play with our pup, it’s about getting them to be calm and ignore them – allowing our pup to interact, engage and approach people at their own pace, whilst being rewarded by YOU, not them. And never force your dog to meet or engage with someone that they very clearly don’t want to.

Dogs and other animals
In the same way, it’s just expected that everyone should be able to pet every puppy they come across, it also seems expected that all dogs should just get on and play together. This is not the case. We need to show our dogs to be calm in the presence of other dogs and animals, rewarding them or redirecting them as required. I don’t advocate puppy play-dates with the ‘friendly’ dog next door as our pup could just end up learning all the fun, friendly, yet hugely anti-social engagement behaviours of the other dog, which doesn’t set them up well for future encounters with other more social dogs.

Environments and Texture
Dogs learn with pictures. So every time the picture changes, we have to show them it’s okay. They may be calm and fine with you at home, but when you go to the beach, they freak out. It takes time for our dogs to work out that all these different environments don’t matter. Also, getting our dog used to different surfaces that they may encounter – such as tiled floors, wooden floors, uneven floors, steps, gravel, grass, wobbly floors – all of these things create pictures for our dogs. Bring up a dog on nothing but tiled floors, and then one day try getting him to walk on grass. You’d be amazed at how troublesome that can be.

Sounds
Many dogs are diagnosed with a fear of thunder, or fireworks and most of this is due to a combination of poor socialising to the sounds, and reinforcement of their behaviour in response to it. Playing these sounds at a low level on your phone, whilst rewarding your dog for calm behaviour is a simple way to create an alternative behaviour, such as laying down and being calm, for your dog in the face of such stimuli.

BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET

Machinery
Motorbikes, bicycles, skateboards, mini buses, hoovers, washing machines… there’s a plethora of noisy stuff out there and our dogs need to hear them all and realise there’s nothing to worry about. Stick with me, and you’ll be okay.
Remember, socialisation doesn’t just happen on its own, and it takes more than just simple exposure and expecting our dog to ‘get over it’. The key is create meaningful and positive experiences for our dogs. Allowing them to approach stimuli in their own time, with no pressure, and being rewarded at the right time.

A quick note on vaccinations: Most vets will tell you to give your dog zero exposure to anything until around four to six months of age, when they are fully vaccinated. For me, the benefits of having a fully socialised and confident dog far outweighs the tiny risk of our dogs getting infected by being outside at such a young age. Obviously, any outside exposure to new environments, animals and so on needs to be carefully managed to minimise any risks – but short simple exposure in the right environments should be fine.

If you would like some more information on canine training, or behavioural issues, then please contact us on 091 654 1960, email info@k9pointacademy.com, or check our website at - www.k9pointacademy.com.

CPA is the only K9 organisation in Thailand accredited with the
Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), and as an American Kennel Club (AKC) Evaluator.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Yamil is dead

Their track record isn"t too good.. and how do they know it was suffering" internal stomac...(Read More)


Yamil is dead

I refrained from posting a less than optimistic prognosis for Yamil last night, but I knew this was ...(Read More)


Norwegian tourist charged for killing British man at Phuket resort

And to top your ridiculous list Gerry, Bullman was drunk and totally naked when he broke into the B...(Read More)


Behind bras: GMS Duty Free calls for donated intimates for inmates

K,please stop your clamor.Donate one,even if it is a second hand one from your own collection....(Read More)


Norwegian tourist charged for killing British man at Phuket resort

This is full of rubbish! how is he given bail. And the story is one sided. ...(Read More)


Norwegian tourist charged for killing British man at Phuket resort

"There was no steak knife involved.Moreover,they are vegetarian"!!!Uuhmm,yes.I have read m...(Read More)


Norwegian tourist charged for killing British man at Phuket resort

And the fact that a murderer can so easily get bail.... disgusting!...(Read More)


Norwegian tourist charged for killing British man at Phuket resort

Then why did Bullman chase the wife? Clearly, it's because she was the only witness to the crim...(Read More)


Norwegian tourist charged for killing British man at Phuket resort

All this happened at Centara hotel but the news has been twisted as it most often is to protect the ...(Read More)