Best way to socialize my puppy?

Got a new, young, furry love in your life? This is the place for you to ask all of your questions-big or small! Just remember that you are receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a vet or behaviorist! Most important is to remember to have fun with your new fur baby.


Director of Home- Destruction
Barked: Tue Jun 12, '07 5:50pm PST 
Boomer is a very sweet puppy. He loves licking and meeting people and is an extremely fast learner. He can already sit and is housebroken. My only concern is that around other dogs he tends to growl and show a dominance problem. Naturally, since we want him to grow into a good and tolerant dog, we have always planned on socializing him with other animals often as a puppy. Boomer shows no interest in cats so they are really not a problem. However, 2 dogs he has come into contact with have caused him to get upset. He encountered a Chocolate Lab and immediately was on the defense, barring his teeth and growling. He also met a shyer Chihuahua mix and showed a more dominant, offensive side. I'm pretty sure his behavior with the huge Lab was out of fear and the behavior with the smaller dog was because he sensed fear in her... but my question is this: how can I resolve this behavior before he gets older? I've never had this problem and didn't plan on having it since he was playing with his sisters and an older female when we picked him up. We're glad he loves people and children so much, but we're afraid that if down the road we want a second dog, we might run into some problems. Any suggestions?
George- Sullivan- Bailey

Proud to be a- Connemara- terrier!
Barked: Tue Jun 12, '07 6:35pm PST 
Puppy classes are a great way to promote socialization in a friendly, safe environment with other learning puppies. You may also want to enlist any friends or family members with healthy, vaccinated, friendly dogs and have puppy play with them in controlled environments. Lots of praise for good behavior and time-outs (preferably in a crate) for bad. Puppies need to learn from other dogs how to best behave in social situations, so humans shouldn't intervene except if the dogs' safety is in immediate jeopardy. Puppies will not hurt each other seriously, and most adult dogs will not hurt a puppy no matter how obnoxious he/she is... it goes against nature to be vicious towards a "helpless" pup. Te key to socialization is exposure, exposure, EXPOSURE. The more experiences the puppy has with friendly, playful dogs, the more eager he will be to interact and learn. Good luck and have fun during this puppy process... soon enough he will be all grown up. shock