Video of the Day: Socialization with Olivia

11March 2017

Video of the Day:  
Socialization with Olivia.

Olivia is a small Yorkie mix that tends to bark and lunge at other dogs.  Her owner came to Such Good Dogs to help socialize her.  After the initial appointment, we set up a some socialization.  I always start by using my own dogs.  I use them often in training and socialization.  They have been trained how to react, or not react, when other dogs present bad behaviors to them.  They are excellent for some beginning socialization.  Once I see how the client’s dog reacts to my dogs, I know whether or not they are ready to socialize with other dogs.

Olivia reacted strongly at first, barking and lunging, as she has done for some time.  But was able to calm down quickly around my dogs and under my supervision.  Olivia ended the lesson in a very calm and happy manner.  She did very well.


This term tends to be thrown in your face a lot if you’re a dog owner.  Everyone from breeders, rescue personnel, and veterinarians will tell you to socialize your dog.  This is very true, proper socialization is vitally important to raising a well balanced, well mannered dog.  The problem is that many people are confused by the term. 

Proper Socialization:  Is teaching a dog to not react to stimuli by desensitizing him to every day things. 

This means the more experiences your dog has in a good, positive way, they less they will react to things that are unfamiliar with them.  All of these experiences should be introduced at a pace the dog is comfortable with.  Do not force a scared dog, let him take his time and become comfortable with the situation at his own pace.  A dog (and especially a puppy) should always appear happy and relaxed during socialization.
Another way of thinking about proper socialization is to literally desensitize your dog to regular sounds and occurrences.  Things like cars, skate boards, and bikes.  Also people who are different:  short, tall, wearing a hat or glasses, etc.
Improperly socialized dogs tend to be over-reactive or shy.  They withdraw from people and sometimes flinch or freeze.  Many improperly socialized dogs suffer from anxiety.  Poor socialization can also lead to aggression. 

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Trainer Tips:  Island Dogs & Socialization
Adding a second dog to your pack
Introducing your dog to the cat