Socialization Archives

Lights, Camera, Action!

Dogs are complicated creatures. They wag their tails, growl and snap, run in circles, snuggle on the bed, and eat the couch.

We all have those days when the family dog just drives us up the wall and over it. He won’t stop barking, he’s running around like a headless chicken, he’s chewing up your favorite shoes, and he marked the new table in the dining room.

Why are dogs so crazy? Why do they wreck the house when we leave, and sometimes when they’re unattended for a whole five minutes while you’re in the other room?

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Dog Behavior Assumptions Are Not A Good Idea

Watching dogs is a long time hobby of mine, because they do such interesting things. No, really, watch your dog for just 10 minutes while he is outside with you. If you don’t have a dog, I suppose you could always borrow a friend’s (with permission, of course). The point is, you can learn a lot from simply observing.

Dogs are unpredictable creatures because they are first and foremost conscious, intelligent animals that we don’t always understand. So, when we look at them and note their behavior, we have to look at them and understand that perhaps we don’t understand them as well as we’d like to think.

A person who is walking in the park and encounters a dog on a leash barking and freaking out at them may make a few assumptions or conclusions. The first might be that the owner of the dog is not a very good one, since they can’t control their dog. Another might be that the dog is aggressive and shouldn’t be out in the first place. Unfortunately, a lot of these assumptions, whatever they might be, are wrong.

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What is Impulse Control? How do you Begin Teaching it?

Do you ever have the urge to throw everything down and throw a screaming, yelling, crying, temper tantrum? Do you ever do it? Maybe you do, but here’s the real question: Do you ever do it in public? In the middle of a huge, packed food court in the mall? I hope not, since if you do you may be due to be carted off by the white coats any day now.

Assuming you’re the average person, why don’t you give in to that urge and have the temper tantrum? The answer that many of you are probably thinking is because it’s embarrassing, or it’s just something not done in public.

Now consider a dog that has the urge and really does have a screaming, yelling, crying, temper tantrum in a very public place where a lot of people (and other dogs) can hear it. What stops you from doing it, and what causes your dog to do it? It’s the same urge, and it’s just as loud coming from both dog and human whenever it happens. The answer is impulse control.

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What is Dog Socialization?

  • Have you ever walked your dog and come across strange people, dogs, or other animals?
  • Has your dog ever started freaking out, barking, growling, and trying to get to the stranger?
  • Has it ever been or is it to the point that you stopped going out with your dog?

This problem could be because of several different things. The first is that the dog may be insecure in his relationship with you. Dogs need consistent, firm, guidance, and when they don’t get it, they may become unsure about where their place is in life. To that end, they may be afraid of any other people or animals because they’re protecting you because they feel they have to. Another problem could be that they’re simply not used to strangers, and they need to be socialized.

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