Monday, March 22, 2010

Socializing Your Chihuahua Puppy

Your goal may be to have your puppy grow up and mature to be friendly, happy and very well-adjusted for their lifelong emotional well-being. Socialization is so important for your puppy. You will want them to feel comfortable in their new world.

It is helpful for puppies to learn how to cope with their environment, (which includes people, animals, places and things), in a healthy and positive way throughout their lifetime. You will want your puppy's socialization experiences to be positive.

A puppy is usually very eager to explore their new environment. Puppyhood is an important period for your dog's development. Positive influence in the early weeks of the puppy's life can be very beneficial. I read that the time before the puppy is 16 weeks old is an important developmental time period when he may be very receptive and influenced by his experiences. Praise and positive reinforcement are so important with socialization and training. Socialization begins on the day your puppy is born and continues for the rest of his life.

Until your puppy has had all of his proper vac­cinations, you may want to be guided by your veterinarian about socialization. I read that you should consult your veterinarian about when and also how to introduce your puppy to other animals in a safe manner.

Once you know that it is fine to socialize your Chihuahua puppy, you may want to gradually introduce your new puppy to some of your close friends or relatives in a pleasant, supervised manner. Your puppy can learn to get accustomed to people who are quiet or talkative, young (active), or old (possibly more inactive). You may wish to introduce your puppy to people wearing glasses or wearing hats or bike helmets, or to people carrying an umbrella, or wearing coats and gloves.

If your puppy seems scared about a certain object or specific person it may be a good idea to introduce that object or person more slowly, and you can try to associate the object or person with something positive, like a favorite treat. If your puppy is afraid of your grandfather who happens to be tall and speaks in a very loud voice, have your grandfather offer treats to the puppy.

You may want to get your puppy comfortable with handling, especially if they may need routine grooming in the future. You can safely and comfortably hold your cute puppy on your lap and help him practice being calm and relaxed with you. Your friends and family can help by gently handling the puppy the proper way. Positive reinforcement for your puppy may include lots of friendly praise and maybe also their favorite treats.

It may be lots of fun to safely take the puppy on short car rides, so he becomes familiar with riding in the car. This positive experience may make it easier for the both of you when you need to go for any future veterinarian office visits.

When the puppy is the appropriate age, you may decide to invite people that you already know that own pets who are friendly, healthy and vaccinated who can come over to your home for a little visit, and with your knowledge and supervision you can work on socializing your puppy.

If you happen to already have another pet in the home, you may want to make sure that you provide enough individual attention to your new puppy to help them develop their own personality.

You can also gradually introduce your puppy to a variety of items and sounds that are routinely around the house so they become a little familiar to them. Some sounds that may be new to your puppy are the following:

Doorbell ringing

Telephone ringing

TV and radio

Any music playing

Computer noises

Video games

Vacuum cleaner

Sound from a hair dryer, blender, or fan

Noise from a washing machine or dish washer

Any noise from your childrens toys

Thunderstorms

Any noise from electric grooming tools, if your dog may need grooming in the future

After your veterinarian says it is safe for you to take the puppy out into the real world, you can safely introduce the puppy to walks in your the neighborhood. Your walks together can be so enjoyable for you and your puppy.

In summary, if you are patient and consistent with social­izing and training your Chihuahua puppy, he will likely be happier and feel comfortable throughout his life. Always remember that praise and positive reinforcement are so important with socialization and training.