Quest Socializes with a Rabbit That is Bigger That He Is

quest-meets-small-animals

During a puppy’s Critical Socialization Period, new experiences have a profound effect on how your dog grows up. I wanted to share another puppy training tip in this post, although it may be more accurate to call it a socialization tip.

The bottom line is that the more experiences you get your puppy, the more calm and confident it will be when it grows up. This confidence helps your dog deal with new situations and challenges.

There was a local fair going on near my house so I decided to take Quest out for an adventure. Little did we know we would be meeting some very interesting animals, including a rabbit that was bigger than Quest!

Now I informed Quest’s Breeder Linda McSherry that I would prefer a dog with a low prey drive so these animals weren’t difficult for Quest to meet. Dalmatians can have a prey drive, but its normally not as strong as some other breeds (that does mean Dals can’t have a strong prey drive).

But if you have a Terrier or a dog with a high prey drive, exposing it to small animals in a safe way when they are young is invaluable. I can’t tell you how many clients I have had who’s dog could not control itself when seeing a rabbit, squirrel, etc.

When it comes to socialization, variety is key. Focus on things you will be encountering on a regular basis first, but also be sure to include a lot of different experiences (people, animals, places, surfaces, sounds, etc. This sort of puppy socialization will help with your puppy behavior in ways you will never know.

If you have ever seen a dog that is extremely nervous and twitchy, its a good bet they didn’t get a whole lot of socialization experiences as a young pup. The socialization window closes as early as week 12, but some pups continue until they are 14 weeks.

Ive said it before, but it is worth repeating. The Critical Socialization Period is TIME YOU WILL NEVER GET BACK. I know things in our lives are all important, but during the Critical Socialization Period, I would much rather skip a work out, game, social occasion, etc knowing it will result in a more confident dog for the next decade or longer. The time you spend now will pay off later, I guarantee it.

If you haven’t seen my post on the Critical Socialization Period or would like to download a list of experiences you should socialize your dog with, use this link.

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