Trainer Tips–Island Dogs & Socialization

8January 2013

Properly socializing your dog is very important, but many people don’t understand what that actually means.  Proper socialization is not only exposing your dog to as many situations, people, and other dogs as possible, but more importantly, making all of these positive experiences so that your dog becomes easily comfortable no matter what happens.  In order to do this, it is important for you to allow your dog to take his time exploring something new.  Never quickly force a dog that is not comfortable into a new situation.  The dog should appear mostly relaxed, not tense or afraid.  This is why it is so important to begin this process as soon as possible!  This means the day you get your dog, or as soon as your new puppy has all his shots and is vet approved to meet others.

Beyond a properly socialized dog, I believe it is important to keep an “Island Dog” mentality.  If your dog is a true “Island Dog” he should be able to enjoy your favorite island spots WITH YOU.  Some of the places we enjoy with our dogs include the beach, various hikes (we have even worked our dogs up to hiking out on some cliffs), and accompanying me to work.  Lucky for me my job is working with dogs, or in dog environments, so taking my dogs to work is easy for me, whereas it may not be as easy for you.  It never hurts to ask your supervisor, even if its for an hour, it will help socialize your dog.