Socializing your Dogo Argentino puppy
Socializing your Dogo Argetino will be on of the most important things to do during his or her first few months at home. From 8-12 weeks of age, puppies go through a fear imprinting stage. During this time, it is curcial to carefully introduce your Dogo Argetino puppy to a variety of stimuli every day, AND ensure that the experiences are
positive. This would also be a good time to start training your new Argentine dogo puppy basic behaviors.
* Socialization means introducing and familiarizing your new Argentine dogo puppy to new experiences- including people, places, objects, or other animals- in ways that help your puppy to
learn how to respond to and interact with these experiences appropriatly and without fear. Stimuli can include objects such as umbrellas, bikes, keys. Men with beards, people in hats, young children are also good things to get your dogo puppy used to. It
is a good idea to familiarize your dogo with loud noises as well, such as passing cars and trucks, sudden loud noise. Most of all you will want your Dogo Argentino to be used to other animals.
The puppy brain is most inclined to accept new experiences between 4 and 16 weeks of age. Missing the window after 16 weeks of age could socially handicap your argentine dogo puppy. Of course, a dog can still learn, but it is harder, mostly due to the need to help the pup unlearn unproductive and inappropriate responses. Prevention is far better than rehabilitation, so if you can work within your dogo puppy's critical learning window, you and your dogo pup have an immense advantage.
Introduce your dogo argentino pup to new people, places, objects and situations ONLY when you can control the experience.
Taking your dogo argentino puppy on walks on leash offers effective opportunities for socialization. You would do well to avoid dog parks and other areas where there's higher risk of exposure to disease. Do not let your dogo argentino puppy sniff feces or to play with any dogs who might be unhealthy or aggressive.
Introduce your dogo puppy into a large group only after having socialized him to smaller groups.
Use treats, praise, touch, even play to reward, and thus reinforce, your dogo for displaying positive responses.
Reward the behaviors that you want repeated and ignore or give a signal to the behaviors you do not like.
Be aware of the signals you send. Make it obvious to your dogo argentino that you enjoy encountering other people, animals and things. Even dogo argentino puppies observe and sense your reactions.
It is not fair to put any dog in a situation in which he might feel threatened or prompted to use his teeth. This is why you must educate not only your dog but the people in your home.
* Socialization does not end at dogo puppy hood. While the foundation for good behavior is laid during the first few months, you should encourage and reinforce social skills and responsiveness to commands throughout your dogo argentino's life.
Playtime in a controlled situation is a great way to socialize your dogo argentino puppy to other people and dogs. Find friends who have healthy puppies and gentle adult dogs, and invite them over to play. Vigorous play is OK as long as both dogs are having fun. Be ready to intervene if the one appears scared or things start to get out of hand.
Out in public:
Taking your Dogo Argentino out in public offten to meet other people and dogs is an essential part of socialization.
When dogs meet on-leash, keep the leash loose as much as possible. Restraining the leash tightly telegraphs your tension to the dog. Your dogo argentino puppy will be more relaxed if he thinks you are not anxious and that he has some room to maneuver.
Dogs in neighboring yards might be territorial. Carefully introduce new dogs on neutral ground. Keep your dogo argentino puppy on a leash and never approach another dog until you have asked the owner if it is OK.
If you see a dog off-leash, watch for body language. For example, a wagging tail and relaxed posture are more welcoming signs than raised hackles, erect tails and staring. If you sense any tension, change your walking route or pick up your young pup and prevent the animals from having eye contact.
Puppy kindergarten and dog obedience classes are also a good idea for a controlled socialization. It is an excellent way to help your dogo argentino pup feel more comfortable and confidant in public and with other dogs and people.
When introducing your Argentine Dogo puppy to children, instruct the child or children to greet and pet your dogo puppy gently, and without picking him up. ALWAYS supervise children and dogs of any age to avoid adding to the statistics of children, puppies and dogs injured by one another.
Always make sure to praise your argentine dogo puppy. Condition them to accept gentle touching and petting.
Get your dogo pup used to a leash early on by using it every time you take him outside for potty breaks and walks.
When playing with your Argentine dogo puppy, use chew toys to redirect his sharp teeth from your hands, clothing and furniture. Encourage gentle play instead of roughhousing, play-fighting and teasing that all can lead to problems. Remember, your little wiggly puppy is going to grow into strong, active adult Argentine Dogo!
If you want a well-adjusted Dogo Argentino, actively seek new experiences and arrange for pleasant encounters throughout your Dogo's puppy hood. This is how dogs learn to respond to situations in life without fear. Socialization is the most important process in a puppy's life, ranking right up with proper feeding, shelter and medical care. Socialized canines are typically happy, friendly, predictable and able to handle stress. Under-socialized puppies could become fearful, shy, unconfident, anxious, unhappy, unstable and sometimes even fear-aggressive. Such dogs are harder to live with, and the person responsible is the owner. Make time to socialize your Dogo Argentino, you will be happy you did!
THINGS TO TRAIN YOUR DOGO PUPPY:
* to be comfortable in a crate, both when owners are home as well as when owners are gone
* to eliminate outside (on command would be nice!)
* to respect human hands and skin (no nipping or mouthing!)
* to not jump up on humans or countertops
* to respect their owners as the leader of the pack
* to release or relinquish food, toys or inappropriate objects when told
* to come when called
* to be tolerant of handling (nail trims, cleaning ears, kids grabbing fur, taking things out of mouth, drops in eyes, giving pills, bathing, brushing/grooming...)
* to "leave it" when told
* no chasing bicycles, children, squirrels, rabbits, cars, balls....
* to walk without pulling
* to sit, down, stay, wait on command
* to be comfortable and under control in new or uncomfortable places such as the veterinary hospital, groomer, boarding kennel, training class, pet store, other people's homes
* to be comfortable when separated from other dogs, pets or people in their family - able to stay alone without destruction, barking or nervousness
* to play, chew or relax without constant contact or interaction from owner
* to be tolerant of and possibly sociable with other dogs
* to not be protective of food, bowl, crate, toys or bed
* to quiet barking when told
* to greet friends and strangers without jumping or shying away
* to not rush through doorways or down stairs ahead of owner
* to move off furniture, bed or other location without delay when directed