Socialization & Handling

Any and every puppy book & trainer & breeder will tell you that proper socialization is crucial for raising a puppy. Sounds great in theory and I was very enthusiastic about making sure that Loki received proper socialization during the formative stages of his life. Unfortunately, in reality, this is A LOT of work! Here's a checklist of our progress.
  1. People
    • Since he is not yet fully vaccinated, we walk him at a shopping strip. I figure that the risk of other dogs at such an area is relatively low. Yes, there still is a risk, but the benefit of walking him there is that he meets a lot of people. For the most part, he loves to meet people. He almost always wants to meet women; I speculate that this is because women are usually the ones who dote on him and get all excited about the cute little puppy, whereas men are not so giddy.
  2. Children
    • Children are a bit more difficult. They tend to be clumsier than adults. The young ones stick their hand into his face, practically poking his eyes out. One time, a boy accidentally stepped on his paw. It's difficult to show him that he won't get hurt by children, when oftentimes they themselves are clumsy and not as well-mannered as adults.
  3. Cars
    • From the first day we had him, we've never had problems with car rides. Lucky us! He goes on car rides a few times a week. For awhile, he was going practically every day.
  4. Bikes & Skateboards
    • They certainly grab his attention, but so far, he's not fearful of them nor does he care to chase them either. So far, so good.
  5. Other Dogs
    • At first, he wasn't very friendly with other dogs and growled at them. But now he's become quite friendly with other dogs. I took him to a puppy social, where he successfully held his own against a large five month old Lab mix. At first, Loki was very successful at being the dominant one, but then I guess the Lab learned that size matters.
  6. Resource Guarding
    • So far no real issues with resource guarding, though I've heard that it may develop in later stages of development. We hand feed many of his meals and hope that it helps with resource guarding and also do develop trust.
  7. Going to the vet
    • First time was a breeze. Second time wasn't so bad. Third time he had a delayed freaking out attack. After we exited the vet's office and as I was carrying him to the car, he let out his Shiba scream and peed on himself and me. I hope next time will be better.
  8. Being picked up
    • We picked him up all the time when he was real little. But now, he hates being picked up and tries to run away or bite us. So I need to practice picking him up and giving him a treat.
  9. Paws & Nail cutting
    • Eh, what dog likes to have their nails cut?
  10. Muzzle & teeth
    • Hm... need to do more of this.
  11. Separation
    • Some days are better than others. We try to have peaceful departures and arrivals. Most importantly, we try to ignore him when we return and keep him as calm as possible. As I said, some days are better than others.
  12. Baths
    • We give him a bath roughly once a week. He's surprisingly pretty good about it. We give him a few treats throughout the bath. Sometimes he likes to drink the dirty bath water.
  13. Hair dryer
    • After the bath comes the hair dryer. It terrified him at first, but it seems that he's slowly getting used to it. I put him up on the counter, so that he cannot run away. And we also give him a few treats throughout this stressful ordeal. So far, so good.
  14. Vacuum Cleaner
    • He's more or less terrified of the monster. Last time, I turned it off and left a trail of kibble from him to the cleaner in hopes that would help his fear. Who knows if that'll work?
  15. Floor surfaces
    • Mostly okay, but he's a little bit scared of the kitchen area.
  16. Brushing
    • For the most part, he hates being brushed. We still try to do it anyways, but probably not often enough.
(SIGH) What a long list! So troublesome! No wonder I was never properly socialized as a puppy; it's too much work.


Kay said...

Yes this is very important, make sure you socialize loki early, I am still working on it...being that Pearly wasn't feeling too well when she was young and so I kept her out.

Mochi said...

Being a prospective shiba owner/1st time dog owner...I didn't know you have to get dogs use to the floor! Must read more of this blog.

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