Even though German Shepherds are naturally friendly and loving dogs, they still have to be introduced to the world. This process is called socialization. Socialization training makes all the difference between a dog that’s eager to be around people and one that’s afraid of them.
At Celtic Shepherds, we make socialization training a top priority for every puppy and even mature Shepherds that we take in.
Valuable Life Lessons
No puppy is born knowing all about people, other dogs, cats, children and everyday occurrences like visitors, car rides and playing in the park. Socialization training helps introduce puppies to what it means to be a part of the family. Think about it this way. A child has to be taught how to get along with others. Puppies are the same way. And, the earlier the training begins, the better it is for you and the puppy.
German Shepherds, along with any other breed, have to be taught how to be non-prejudiced. For instance, if they’re only ever around a white male with a beard, they might shy away from a woman or kids. If they’ve never been around other dogs, they may act aggressively.
Socialization training takes care of numerous potential issues and helps puppies learn valuable life lessons early on, such as:
- Getting along with all people regardless of gender, race, facial hair or method of dress (such as uniforms)
- Being friendly with kids (kids tend to act differently than adults, which can scare unaccustomed Shepherds)
- Greet and play with other dogs (train to act properly versus aggressively, fearful or overly excited)
- Get along with cats (even if you don’t have cats, a neighbor or friend might)
- Greet you and visitors calmly (you don’t want them knocking everyone over or barking excessively)
- Stay calm and confident through new experiences, such as car rides, going to the park and even moving to a new home
We want your German Shepherd puppy to be fully ready to be a part of your family. This is why we start from the first day. We talk to them, handle them, let them all play together, meet the family cat and interact with our kids. While we can’t teach them everything, we give them that crucial early training that establishes the foundation of their personality.
Of course, puppies are going to be much more excitable than their adult counterparts, but by starting their socialization training early, it’s easier for you to teach them as adults to be a bit calmer. For instance, you might teach them not to flatten you when you come home from work or when you kid gets off the bus in the afternoon.
Socialization Training Is Life Long
We can’t stress enough how important socialization training truly is. We start the process, but socialization doesn’t stop when your puppy goes home with you. As your puppy transitions into an adult, they’ll be introduced to a variety of new experiences. Some things we recommend include:
- Take your German Shepherd to dog parks or have doggie play dates with local dogs to improve their relationships with other dogs
- Let them be around cats if possible, even if means just letting them sniff the neighbor’s cat and learning that kitty doesn’t want to be chased around or wrestled
- Monitor how your puppy interacts with your kids and train both your puppy and kids what is and isn’t appropriate
- Be patient as your German Shepherd puppy experiences new things. They might be uncertain at first, but with patience and encouragement, they’ll feel confident in no time.
If you’re not sure where to start, please don’t hesitate to talk with us. After all, we’re in the business of socialization. We’re always happy to answer questions and help you turn your new puppy into the best furry friend you’ve ever had.