Socializing your Boston Terrier can be a challenge. This process should begin to occur between 8-12 weeks of age. Your puppy will need to be introduced to a variety of stimuli during this phase of her life, and you should also start going over basic training at this age.
Socializing your puppy will make a difference on how she sees the world. You don’t want her to fear new experiences, but rather welcome them.
FACT: The most common causes of unprovoked dog aggression is lack of proper socialization.
Here is a list of some things that you should introduce your puppy to:
• Men with beards
• People in hats
• Young children
• Passing trucks
• Odd sounds
• Sudden, loud noises
• Other animals
If you are not able to work with your Boston Terrier between 8-12 weeks of age, this could be a set-back. Of course, she can still be socialized, but it will be harder. She’ll need to unlearn unproductive and inappropriate behavior and responses.
You have a huge advantage if you start working with your Boston at a young age.
You should begin to introduce your Boston Terrier to new people, places, objects and situations, but only when you can control the experience.
It will be your job to protect your puppy from situations that scare her. She needs to trust YOU to take care of her and defend her, rather than think she must protect herself.
Introduce your puppy to large groups only after having socialized her in small groups.
Reward her good behavior. Use treats, praise, touch, and even play to reward your dog for displaying good social skills. Do not reward behaviors that you do not want repeated. Maybe even try a time out, or separation from the group for bad behaviors.
Consciously think about what you’re teaching your dog in every situation. You don’t want to send the wrong signals! Your dog may be more aware of what you’re doing than you are!
So, try to understand why your dog is afraid, but do not reinforce her fear by coddling her. This will not help her.
She needs to know that you are in control of the situation and she does not need to take matters into her own paws (or jaws)!
You’re the boss, and your dog should trust that you will do everything in your power to protect her.
A dog is never “finished” being socialized. The foundation for good behavior ought to be instilled in your puppy the first few months; however, you should continue to reinforce social skills throughout your dog’s entire life!
Check out this video that discusses some tips for bringing a new puppy home:
For more dog socialization tips, click here.