I’m not claiming to be clairvoyant, but I do have a feeling that Puppy Socialization: What It Is and How to Do It by Marge Rogers, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, CCUI, and Eileen Anderson, MM, MS, is about reading it and recommended by many dog professionals and dog lovers eager to get the word out.
The writers had me on, Remember, there is a human tendency to want to show the world your pups, but it’s not the same as showing your pup the world! Avoid the temptation to let your pup become a magnet for human attention. The last thing you want to do is let him overwhelm and frighten. “
The book – an e-book available on multiple platforms – provides equally useful information and ideas throughout, and both novice and professional puppy breeders will benefit from its guidance and advice. It teaches people everything they need to know about socializing puppies in order for them to develop into the best possible versions of their canine self. And with 120 photos and video links, not only is this book practical and helpful, it’s also fun to read.
Socialization as a concept is often misunderstood, and this confusion prevents our pups from starting off properly. After reading this book, people will understand what socialization is (and what isn’t) and learn to properly socialize their puppy.
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Rogers and Anderson do their readers a great service by showing them how to socialize dogs through the photos and videos. Learning the right way to get puppy on the right paw is much easier by seeing it and reading about it. The videos, most of which are from actual training sessions with puppies and their owners, are practical and useful in ways new puppy owners desire.
The reason socialization is so important is easier to understand when you consider what happens to puppies who are not socialized. Anderson writes: “I had my own wild pup that was born in the forest and has not been exposed to humans in any way. I got in at the very end of her sensitive phase of socialization, but no one else. Since then we’ve been playing catch-up. … Your ingrained reaction to people other than me is complete and persistent fear. “
Anderson is the first to recognize that her dog is an extreme version of what can happen when a dog is not socialized. It is likely that a combination of genetics along with limited early experience has made life especially difficult for this particular dog. But it’s hard to avoid the thought that your dog’s life might have ended badly in someone else’s hands … and quickly.
Puppy socialization includes a clear explanation of the magical time – known as the sensitive time for socialization – when puppies are prepared to learn new things. This only lasts for a short time in the first few months of life, so it is important to maximize this opportunity. It will save you and your puppy from trouble or even heartache later.
This new treasure of a book also covers dog body language so readers can learn to tell whether their pup is relaxed or tense, happy or nervous, anxious or comfortable. This knowledge is essential to any puppy socialization, but few books cover it in the puppy context.
In fact, this chapter on dog body language is relevant to all owners, regardless of their dog’s age. For example, most people do not know that a dog that is yawning can show symptoms of anxiety and anxiety. Or that when a dog shows its stomach, it doesn’t always ask for a stomach rub. Understanding dog body language improves the bond between dogs and the people they love.
When asked why they contained so much information about reading dog visual cues, Anderson replied, “For us, this is the missing part because so many people don’t know how to read the medium or very subtle cues of how to be your dog feels. If you can’t tell [that] Your puppy is scared you’re in trouble. You risk frightening him instead of teaching him that the world is a wonderful and fun place for puppies. “
The authors also counter all the bad advice on puppy socialization with lots of fact-based information. Myth Destruction is a great service, and the writers do it well by helping readers (and their dogs) avoid the consequences of harmful myths and falsehoods. In fact, according to Rogers, this bad advice was the inspiration for writing this book in the first place.
“We all have different memories of who first said the word ‘book’, but we wrote it because our hearts ached when we saw people follow traditional advice and it made their pups worse.” An example for the traditional advice Rogers is referring to is to suggest taking your pup anywhere and exposing him to anything. It is one of the myths about socialization that is counterproductive to its proper execution.
This book is a truly modern book with the most up to date information on the subject and offers strategies for safely socializing puppies during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as during normal times. Pandemic puppies have spent a lot of time with their families, but public health protocols have limited their socialization options to varying degrees.
Many behavioral problems are avoided if people follow the socialization advice in this book. Many of the dogs that I see in my private practice as a canine behaviorist and dog trainer could have been spared the challenges they face in life if they had been properly socialized. I hope this book will be widely read and that its advice will be followed. It’s the perfect resource for anyone involved in raising well-adjusted, happy puppies, and it’s good news to publish.