When you say socializing then what you mean is that you are forcing a baby to act like an adult. You really mean that you are teaching the dog that you don’t ‘have it’s back’ and that you will not protect it. The puppy is really learning that leaving the house with you is a terrifying experience. And the dog is learning that it is helpless. If it does try a polite ‘stay away behavior’ like growling, it will be punished.
I’ve seen a few dozen well socialized puppies. All of them had one, or a combination of the following problems:
- Separation anxiety
- Control issues
- Hyper anxiety
- Hyper arousal
- Dog-dog aggression
- Dog-human aggression
- Boredom barking
So – Tell me HOW Socialization Prevents Fear?
How does forcing a puppy to constantly fell fear stop fear? Take some time to read psychological papers on fear. Children raised in fear suffer from anxiety. People from war zones cannot overcome their insecurities. People who have faced trauma will not ever recover their relaxed, confident, trusting state.
Puppy Engagement vs Puppy Socializing
Engagement and Focus – if you focus on these until 4 months then you will have a good, confident, and reliable dog. Whether you want to or not, you are training this every time you interact with your (under 4 month) puppy. That puppy is learning:
Every time I go out of the house me and my person are working together OR
Every time I go out of the house I engage and focus on other people, dogs, and things to chase
Every time I have the leash on I need to pay attention to my owner, OR
Every time I have the leash on I need to sniff, chase things, and pull so I can find something new to explore
Every time I am ‘free’ in the house I am ‘with’ my owner, OR
When I am free I am wild, I can guard, hunt, chew, chase, and do whatever I want
Dogs are rewarded by their environment. They build VALUE on what satisfies them. It is either YOU or it is EVERYTHING ELSE.
Puppy Engagement teaches a dog that when you leave the house, are around dogs, people, or in strange situations that the dog needs to focus on you and work with you. The dog has fun. That is all you are doing in engagement – making every situation fun for your dog.
Puppy Socialization teaches a dog to focus on the environment. ‘Will this scare me?’ ‘Am I safe?’ ‘Do I need to protect myself?’ ‘Will that dog/person bully me?’ The focus is always on what is in the environment. As a puppy, the natural/instinctual behavior is to act friendly, or run. This fades as the puppy’s natural hormone (oxytocin) fades. As the puppy grows and oxytocin is replaced by dopamine and other fight-flight chemicals your puppy’s reaction will change to avoidance, aggression, or hyper activity.
Other articles in this series:
- Behavior then obedience: Why I don’t Socialize Pt 2
- Puppy Socialization – You Can Do More Harm Than Good
- What is Puppy Socialization Pt 1
- What is Puppy Socialization
- Raising a Working Breed Puppy – Frustration Tolerance vs Impulse Control
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