A 5-Step Puppy Socialization Exercise to Build More Confidence in Your Dog!
If you’re looking for ways to socialize and build confidence in your puppy or an older dog of any age, then this video is for you. Watch as I take you inside one of my private training sessions and introduce you to a very powerful, next-level socialization exercise that many quality working kennels will do with their dogs. You’ll see a vibrant 16-week old pitbull puppy named Echo as she goes through all of the steps that I’m going to teach you. This is the first time she will experience this form of socialization.
I’ll teach five levels that you can add on and keep the momentum going as your dog becomes more and more confident. This puppy socialization exercise is very simple and very fun. It is also an extremely powerful way to have your dog learn to try hard on its own and become more confident.
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Steps to Socialize Your Puppy
Step 1: Introduce the kiddie pool or something that can contain bottles or other safe objects. The pool is empty at this point, you just want your puppy to experience the difference in texture and sound. We let the dog explore with a loose leash. Drop pieces of kibble or high-value treats in the pool as your dog is in it. Make it a great place to be!
Step 2: Let your puppy jump out and add some empty water bottles to the pool making sure to leave lots of empty space. As your dog jumps in, drop in more pieces of kibble, let your dog search around for the food. The sound of the moving bottles will be a different experience and this is part of socialization. The food is a reward and the dog learns to overcome the stress of the moving bottles.
Step 3: Add even more water bottles to the pool. Enough that the dog must push through some bottles in order to get the food.
Step 4: As your dog is searching for food, tap the side of the pool to add some distraction and offer reassurance through some gentle petting and praise through touch. This helps build confidence because you as the handler are giving that support in this new environment.
Step 5: The last step of this exercise to build confidence in your dog is to move around the bottles as they search for the food. In this case, I’m using a stick to move around bottles and randomly tap the pool. This is another form of distraction and it socializes the dog to all sorts of sounds, textures, and situations.
Recommended Products for This Exercise:
Puppy Socialization should be fun!
This can be done with older dogs too, it’s a great way to develop that trusting relationship between you and your dog. It’s our hope that this video will help you think of other ways you can socialize your dog. Get creative and remember always start off slowly and add another level as your dog is comfortable. Use these exercises as an opportunity to train your dog using his kibble as a reward. Throw that food dish away and get a treat pouch and feed your dog while you train!
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