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How To Raise A Fearless Dog

If you have just welcomed a new puppy into your home, it is already the right time to begin a process called “socialization.” Socialization teaches your puppy how to be confident as an adult. A poorly socialized puppy can turn into a fearful and aggressive/submissive adult dog. Use these three tips to help your puppy to become confident, fearless and strong as an adult.

Tip #1: Begin socializing with people first.
Until your puppy has completed at least the first round of vaccinations (usually around 7-8 weeks), it is best to keep him or her away from unknown dogs. But you can begin socializing your puppy with new people right away!

Ideas: Throw a “Meet the Puppy” party. Have human treats (plus some visitors can offer to your puppy). Include adults and kids so your puppy can learn to be confident with both groups.

Tip #2: Continue socializing with “known” and safe puppies and dogs.
Once your puppy has learned to feel comfortable with other people, you can organize additional socialization opportunities – this time with other dogs. The key here is to pick safe, healthy dogs that are known to you through their owners.

Ideas: Host a second “Meet the Puppy” party. This time, invite humans and their canines. Have treats for both. Keep the size manageable so your puppy doesn’t become overwhelmed.

Tip #3: Enroll in a socialization class.
Check with local ASPCA branches or other canine-friendly groups to find out about local socialization classes. These classes are like larger meet-and-greet groups where your puppy can safely meet and mingle while learning confidence-building skills.