On Training Puppies to Accept and Welcome Handling
How to Train Your Dog to Accept Handling
This article will explain how to prepare your dog for others' handling by teaching him to accept it when he is a puppy. We'll briefly describe the importance of early socialization training, and offer several suggestions for making the process as simple as possible.
Start Socialization Training As Early As Possible
Experienced trainers and veterinarians suggest that a puppy's first four or five months are critical for his development. The events he experiences during this period have a significant influence on him as an adult. This is the reason socialization training should be started as soon as possible.
Gradually Introduce Other "Handlers"
Prior to socialization classes, limit others' access to your puppy until he is accustomed to being handled by you. While most puppies are very accepting of strangers, some become frightened or anxious. Spend time petting your pup all over his body so he can become used to the sensation. Then, slowly let others do the same.
Take care not to introduce too many new "handlers" at once; allow one person at a time to pet your pup. This lowers the risk that he'll feel overwhelmed.
Forming A Positive Connection With The Experience
Because your puppy is so impressionable during the first several months of his life, it is important that his handling by others is a positive experience for him. Use treats and praise to reinforce a positive association in his mind.
Routines To Acclimate Your Puppy To Handling
A lot of owners presume their dogs are fine with being handled and are then surprised when their pets snap or growl at others. This often happens when a canine is unaccustomed to being touched or stroked on a certain part of his body. For instance, a dog may welcome petting on his back, but be inexperienced with petting on his stomach. When someone tries the latter, the attempt may trigger an aggressive response.
Your puppy will encounter people throughout his life who want to handle him in each of the ways listed. The more familiar he is with them, the less likely he react out of fear or aggression.
Addressing Hesitation Or Lack Of Comfort
While you are training your puppy to accept handling from others, take note of times when he seems unnerved. If you notice he is growing uncomfortable, ask the person petting him to stop. Avoid forcing your pup to endure something that makes him uneasy since doing so will create a negative impression of the activity in his mind.
If you introduce your puppy to being handled by a variety of people in different circumstances, he'll welcome handling as an adult. It's a simple way to ensure your pup matures into a friendly canine companion.