04.10waffle"The First Ten Skills You Should Teach Your Puppy" are my chosen ten skills. I believe most will agree with my choice, but if you don't, you're off course entitled to add, subtract and modify as you seem fit. In any case, I hope this will help you in your work as a puppy owner instructor or a puppy owner. - By Roger Abrantes - Wed, 11/09/2011 - Dog Star Daily

The First Ten Skills You Should Teach Your Puppy

There are many skills that your puppy must learn in order to enjoy a good doggy life in our human world. It is your responsibility to teach your puppy these skills. Opinions may differ as to what are the most fundamental skills to teach your puppy. In my opinion, you should focus on the ten skills I describe here so that both you and your puppy enjoy being together and can safely begin to discover the world.

There are many ways to teach your puppy the skills I mention below and one method is not necessarily better than another. There are many ways to reach the same goal and you should choose the method or variation that best suits you, your lifestyle and your puppy's temperament. The training methods I describe here have worked very well for the many owners and puppies we have coached at the Ethology Institute Cambridge over the years, but remember that they are only rough guidelines and you should adapt them to your own puppy as you see fit.

Written by Ian Dunbar

2010Honey Emie1Socialization is the process of becoming familiar with all kinds of animals, people, places, and things; as well as learning how to behave in society.

All puppies need socialization regardless of breed, type, or temperament. Please do not take this for granted, regardless of your breed description. Even dogs from breeds that have a very good reputation for loving people will need to be thoroughly socialized as puppies, to make sure that they have lots of great experiences being around all kinds of different people.  More importantly, breeds that are known to be less social (often described as aloof) must be socialized to grow up to love to be around people in order to be good canine citizens (and not end up in news headlines).

It makes sense that if a pup grows up meeting lots of people and going to lots of different places, and always having fun when it happens, he'll grow into a confident, secure, adult dog who loves to meet people, visit places, and is comfortable in all situations.

If a puppy is shielded from new experiences and people though, he'll likely grow up to be timid and possibly frightened of new things. Also, an under-socialized dog is more likely to react defensively around new people and in new situations and this is potentially dangerous. It is important to note that most bites occur because a dog is fearful and unsure, not because he is "dominant" or "protective". A socialized dog with many good experiences under his belt is a confident dog, and a confident dog is always impressive and solid in character.

So it's up to you to provide all kinds of new friends and experiences for your puppy. Luckily for you, this is lots of fun – cute infants of all species bring out the goodwill in everyone, and you'll find that people will line up to help you socialize your puppy!