Help Fido make friends
First, I have to ask…Why and when did Fido become the standard generic name for dogs? Just curious….And now the news, provided here by the American Kennel Club, just in time for Fi…I mean your pooch’s forays outdoors as the weather improves.
Humans aren’t the only ones who have to make friends — your dog does too! Socializing your pup with other dogs is very important. Not to worry if your dog is having trouble making canine friends. You can help him! AKC Canine Good Citizen Director and Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Mary Burch, Ph.D., offers some tips on how to help your dog become the most popular pup at the dog park.
• Don’t head directly for the dog park. If you have a pup that tends to be nervous around other animals, you don’t want to literally throw him to the dogs! The dog park might be too much for your pup as the first step in meeting new friends, especially when there are many other dogs there running around.
• Take it one step at a time. You’ll want to systematically introduce your pup to others. Start off by meeting one friend with one dog. Make sure the other dog is a polite, well-mannered pooch. If you happen to have an exceptionally energetic dog, you might want to have an experienced trainer at the meeting just in case your dog tries to dominate the other. Dogs can sense if you are nervous, which can lead to you losing control of the situation. Having an experienced trainer with you will help you feel at ease and keep control.
• Meet a variety of dogs. If your purebred has only ever met other dogs of his breed, you can imagine how surprised he will be when he meets another breed for the first time. It is important to socialize with all types of dogs. A great place to have your dog meet different breeds is at a training class.
Additional tips on how to socialize your dog can be found in “Citizen Canine,” the official new book of the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program at caninegoodcitizen.wordpress.com.