Today, I’m going to show you how to get your puppy comfortable with the world. Meet Leia, she’s a four-month-old
puppy and she’s a little nervous around new people and new situations. When you prioritize the relationship between you and your dog, the training part is easy. Your relationship should be based on love, trust and respect, particularly if you have a puppy or dog who’s a little bit apprehensive in new situations. You’ll want to be extra understanding and go out of your way to get them comfortable in new situations.
Get Your Dog Comfortable Around New People
Not all dogs are the same. All have unique individual personalities; some will love being in new situations most of the time. Others will be completely terrified and most will fall somewhere in between first things. First, in order to get your dog comfortable around new people and new situations, you’ll want to get them really comfortable with you first, and that all starts with building a strong bond, wrap something storing or off a little bit.
Obviously, though, I know of nothing that builds a bond faster than playing with a dog. So, I’d recommend that you try playing a game of tug-of-war with your dog, even a game of chase in the backyard. It’s amazing how playing with a dog can really get them to open up, and just be a new dog of course, you’re not always going to be able to get your dog in play mode and some dogs just aren’t as into playing as other dogs.
If you do have a young puppy in particular, say under one year of age, it’s important to really socialize them around a lot of different people and different situations: women, men, people wearing cowboy hats and sunglasses; people dressed funny; black people, white people, fat people, skinny people. Now we’re going to take Leia out into the wild and see how she does in the real world and give her some life experience.
Take your dog wherever you can. Today we’re at a local garden center. Make sure they have their appropriate vaccinations before setting them down in public places. Every person, place or experience represents a new opportunity to create a good association with something new but be proactive here because you could very easily accidentally create a bad association without even meaning to.
Always bring really good treats with you too, so that you can more easily communicate to your dog. You get awesome things when you’re in new places, for example, there was some loud sound in the background that was throwing Leia off right now. I would really want to go out of my way to try to get her extra comfortable with that now.
Socialize Your Dog With A Treat
If it were too overbearing or she were too nervous or even too excited to take treats, then I might consider removing her from the environment completely and try again at some point in the future. Let people pet your dog, even hold them. Many dogs, for example, are pretty nervous of men. Ask people you know, even friendly strangers, to hold your dog and give them a treat and a little bit of authentic attention.
So, I don’t want to throw her in the deep end, I’m going to kind of back up here and just give her a little bit of space. So, I don’t create that bad association accidentally since Leia was a little nervous when the dogs started barking. I’m going to still pass through. I’m going to hold her this time just to get her a little bit more comfortable.
See how she won’t take the treat now because dogs are smart. They remember a second ago, when I walked here, our dog started barking. I had no idea what that was about, so that’s usually a sign that a dog is either really excited or a little bit uncomfortable. Just depending on the situation. If they won’t take the treat just do your best to get them comfortable. I’m going to show her the chickens over here. You want this well. Now she’s starting to take a treat. That’s one way to measure whether or not your dog is comfortable, whether or not they’ll take a treat in a certain situation.
Of course, there’re other things you need to consider, but that’s just one variable. Now, I’m going to see if I can put her back down and continue to walk and see how well she does look. You can see she’s looking a little bit more confident now. That’s what I like to see.