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Feathers And Fleece socialization and OES

Feathers And Fleece Farm
Providing happy clients, with happy social puppies!

Veterinarians and researchers are now beginning to understand the consequences of an unsocialized puppy.
The biggest risk involves the growth of an unbalanced adult dog.
We now know that it is safest to wait until your puppy is at least six months of age to take them to dog parks.
However, it is strongly encouraged that you put your pup into training classes as soon as possible (around 10 weeks of age).
This will help your pet learn important social skills early on so that there will be no problems down the road.
Training is vital in the beginning stages of your puppy's life.
This is why Feathers and Fleece Farm now offers training programs.
Please visit the tab - Training Programs - for more information.

Socialization is defined by exposing your pup to as many animals, people, and environments as possible.
It is important to stay within your pup's comfort zone.
Overwhelming them can be harmful for their social skills.
It could cause excessive fear or a standoff behavior toward certain things.
Therefore, figuring out your dog's boundaries is very important.

The following are qualities that you should see in a socialized puppy:
  • Handled from birth and learns to accept touching of all body parts
  • Exposed to many people, animals, and environments
  • Persuaded to explore the environment around him/her
  • Able to play with a variety of toys, games, etc.
  • Taken on car rides to both new and present environments regularly
With proper socialization, your puppy should engage all of his/her senses through
exposure to different environments (sight, sound, smell) in his/her daily life.
This stimulation will your dog develop a comfort level with new and different situations.
This will help him handle new challenges in a more appropriate fashion.

On the other hand, dogs who have not been well socialized may develop bad responses,
such as extensive fear and anxiety.
This can lead to some behavioral problems including aggression and destructiveness.
Research tells us that at least one of these behaviors can be expected with dogs who have been relinquished to shelters.

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The goal of socialization is obviously to help your pup become a well-adjusted adult dog.
The socialization can typically start at 7-8 weeks, though we find ourselves starting earlier than that.
How can you not love on them all the time? They're adorable!
Enrolling your puppy into a training class can help with possible health risks.
These classes provide minimal exposure to these risks and can also offer tremendous benefits for the both of you.
Here are a few examples:
  • Increase your dog's responsiveness to commands
  • Teaching your pup not to bite when playing
  • Teaching proper interaction/behavior with people, including strangers
  • Developing expectations
  • Strengthening bond between you and your pup
Additional Socialization Tips

Invite friends and family over to the house. Have them interact with your pup. Be sure to include
people of a variety of different ages, genders, and ethnicities.
You can also have them bring their (healthy) dogs or cats over to get them comfortable with
other animals. Another option is to take your pup to these households with other animals.

Make sure your dog is exposed to unfamiliar objects around your house so that they will not
be fearful of changes in their environment.
Additionally, you should get your pup accustomed to hearing strange noises, like the television,
vacuum cleaner, lawn mower, outside traffic, etc.
The goal here is to get your dog used to everything that may occur throughout their life,
so that hopefully there is no fear.
Life is noisy- your dog needs to learn that not everything is life-threatening.

Grooming should be something that is done on a regular basis.
Be sure to bathe, brush, clean ears, and trim nails regularly.
You should do this often so that they will be used to being handled.
This way, when they do see their groomer, they won't be so frightened.
It will also make it easier on your veterinarian when he/she needs to do examinations.
All of this will be done before your dog comes home to you.

You should start socializing your puppy as soon as he comes home to you.
We always say that he/she will most likely be a little wore out from the travels so it is
important that you don't overwhelm him.
All you need to do is let him sniff you and pet and love on him so that he learns your touch and smell.
After he is well rested, let him set his pace on socialization.
Don't force anything on him.
Be brief if that's what he needs.
Always be upbeat and positive.
When your pup shows hesitance or fear, resist rewarding him for that kind of behavior.
Stay close to reassure his safety, but do your best not to reinforce unwanted behavior.

Overall, socializing your puppy should be an easy and fun job for you.
He/she will already have plenty of socialization skills by working with us.
All you have to do is get to know him.