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Tuesday Tip: Instant Puppy Socialization

Just add an easy food puzzle, and mix!

Stuff a Kong, Squirrel Dude, Twist-n-Treat, or other food puzzle with wet dog food. Freeze it (have several so there’s always a frozen food puzzle for your puppy or dog).

Make sure your puppy understands the good-puzzle concept by having your dog work through a few inside the house (different days).

In a fenced-in yard or supervised on a leash, give your puppy the Kong to enjoy. It will last a lot longer, frozen. your puppy will passively hear the noises of the world, but not react to them. Do this a bunch!

Give a food puzzle and relax in different locations, too:
– Dog training class
– Bus stop
– Front yard
– Back yard
– Coffee shop
– On a bus (older puppy)
– At a busy park, like Green Lake (off the path)
– Near a playground

Repeat, repeat, repeat! Bring your own entertainment, like a book to read (Ahimsa training manual, maybe?).

Just make sure no other dogs try to steal your puppy’s great toy. You should also rehearse trading the food puzzle for a treat (then giving the toy back, usually), so you don’t end up with resource guarding.

For our students: also look at the training manual for the Relaxation Protocol, which is great to practice in all of the settings above.

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle [Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon] Tweet This Post!
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925 NW 49th Street, Suite C, Seattle, Washington, 98107.   206.364.4072    Email info@doggiezen.com