What Is The Best Way To Socialize Our 6 Month Old Puppy?

And here is question #4 from a local Holly Springs dog owner:

How is the best way to socialize our 6 month old puppy? We got her on Sunday night and she is scared of men (other than my hubby and son.)  She barks like crazy at all other dogs.  I also want her to be ok around kids.

The awesome Karen Payne of Positive Praise answers:

Training classes are a great way to socialize your puppy. They are exposed to many people and dogs. They learn appropriate behaviors for home manners and you establish that you (you meaning everyone in the household, not just one person) are their leader. Letting the dog know that you are the leader and they can relax can really help with anxiety issues.

Men are usually taller and have deeper voices than women and kids. This can sometimes be frightening to a dog. When a dog is afraid of a person, we tend to coddle them, babytalk to them, and the force them to go to the person or allow the person to approach them and force petting. When we do this, we are doing a couple things wrong. The coddling and babytalk rewards the fear. The dog hears that as praise and thinks there is something to be afraid of. Ignoring the behavior, standing up straight and relaxed and not talking to the dog but rather focusing on the guest, lets the dog know that you are not scared of this person. Having them on a leash during this interaction even in the home can help you keep control of the situation and not allow the dog to hide. When we let the guest approach the dog, we are breaking the dog’s trust. The dog is telling you “I am scared, please do not let this person touch me.” Listen to that fear. Instead, tell your guest to ignore your dog until he decides on his own to go up to your guest. If you do not listen to your dog’s fear, you dog will most likely start protecting themselves and that could end up in a bite situation.

If you would like to enroll your puppy in training classes or would like dog behavior advice checkout Karen’s blog at





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