How do you create a dog who doesn’t prefer being on his phone to actual interaction with other dogs? We all talk about whether humans communicate effectively these days. How do you keep your dog communicating well with others?
Trainers often see fantastic puppies graduate from puppy kindergarten and then come back to class nine months later as little monsters, barking at other dogs or wanting to hide. We all say a positive puppy class is absolutely key in social development, and it is true that without it a pup can be doomed to shyness and fear. But socializing cannot stop in puppy kindergarten.
Your puppy needs to stay social. Tell her to put the phone away and say hi to those other nice dogs you know. How do you keep her consistently well behaved around other dogs? Stay in dog class! It’s a commitment to keep going to class, but it should be part of your commitment to Chloe. She’s always there for you, so make the time for an hour a week to have her practice her behaviors around other cute ones. After Chloe graduates from puppy class, she should immediately go to the next level class. And after that she needs to go on to the level after that. No breaks. It doesn’t matter what kind of obedience skills she can demonstrate as much as that she learns to listen to you and focus around distractions–and have a positive experience around other dogs.
Some dogs who react badly especially on leash around other dogs can learn excellent manners just by being in a class situation. As long as the class doesn’t add too much stress for the dog, desensitization happens and even counterconditioning: “Every time I go to this great place, I see other dogs and cheddar falls from the sky! I love dogs!”
Chloe won’t stay a model citizen if she’s only in your backyard with her dog brother. She wants to be out and about and spend an hour with her favorite person. Yes, you’re busy, but she’s worth the time.
If your dog is already too stressed around other dogs, let’s work on that and then get back to class! Trainers have skills to help. Chloe says thank you!