If you want a liability in your home, then don’t read any further—this article is not for you. For everyone else that wants a well-mannered dog, then learning about socialization is a must.
Dogs have many ways they interact and their nose is one of them—they sniff each other’s tails as an introduction. A pup that is not socialized will never learn how to deal with other dogs. Once a pup becomes an adult, the dog will not know how to deal with certain situations and this is when dogs become scared and aggressive. You want your dog to be comfortable in any situation and you do this by giving you pup many different experiences. Keep in mind though, until your pup is fully immunized you must be careful about exposing him to other dogs and/or areas where they defecate.
Children and pups both must be socialized together. Whether you have a child or not, a pup must be socialized so they don’t see children as targets, competition, or toys. Many pups jump up on children, bite their hands, and treat the child as another dog. A child should be respected by the pup as if it were you. All humans in the household should be pack leaders. Pups should learn not to react to certain touching from children by snapping at them. On the same note, children should also learn how to deal with a pup. Children sometimes grab and pull tails or ears. Puppies feel pain and will react to that pain just as much as any human would.
The best way to socialize both pups and your children is by having your pup sit before the child so can say “hi” to the pup. Do this every day so the pup learns to be relaxed when a child is around and not excited—especially in large-breed puppies because a big and excited dog can knock a child down and seriously hurt them.
Once a pup is relaxed and not excited the child can say hi without much excitement. Before the child even meets the dog, let your child know what is acceptable and what is not. A puppy will try to jump up on the child and this should be discouraged. There should be a mutual respect between your child and your dog. Discourage any unwanted behavior and make sure you supervise all meetings between children and puppies. Groom your child to become a pack leader.
The sooner you have your pup socialized and experiencing new situations, the better your dog will be. You dog will be able to deal with many situations it might experience during adulthood. Make sure you socialize your puppy to other adults, appliances. and other situations by slowly introducing them to the pup.
Remember: a scared dog is an aggressive dog and a relaxed dog is a happy dog. Regular exposure to children, dogs, and different situations as a pup will ensure your future dog grows up socialized.