Pups are great etiquette students
Question: How do I prevent aggression in my new pup?
Answer: Early training of your puppy is the best defense against adult aggression. According to veterinarians and behaviorists, it is never too soon to teach good behavior with a positive, nonpunitive approach.
Socializing your dog at a young age is the greatest gift a new family can offer. It is vital to expose him to positive experiences with a variety of people, dogs, other animals, sights, sounds and places. At a young age, your pup should be exposed to anything that he's likely to encounter in life.
In addition, discourage all forms of rough play. If one person allows the puppy to play rough, this can transfer to all people, as dogs are not discerning in these types of situations.
Q: My pup's a little too young to take him out in public; what can I do to socialize him in the meantime?
A: Indulge your housebound pup with as much time as you can possibly give and introduce him to new friends and family members. Limit exposure to outside diseases by asking guests to leave their shoes at the front door, and ensure they wash their hands before interacting with the pup. You can also leave the television on when you're not at home. This introduces him to a wide variety of voices and sounds.
Veterinarians recommend puppy-training class and controlled socializing activities so long as they have received at least two vaccinations and the owner keeps up the necessary schedule of shots. The second vaccination is usually given at about 3 months old.
Q: How should I introduce him to the outdoors once he's old enough?
A: Provide as much off-leash playtime as you can. Playing prevents aggression, builds confidence, releases pent-up energy and provides an outlet for your dog's natural desire to socialize with other dogs and people.
The Hawaiian Humane Society welcomes questions by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
. Indicate "Pet Ohana" in the subject line. Or, write "Pet Ohana," Hawaiian Humane Society, 2700 Waialae Ave., Honolulu 96826.