- The activity of mixing with others.
- The process of learning to behave in a way that is acceptable to society.
Socialization. No doubt you will hear and see this word time and time again when learning about puppy training. Socialization is important for every puppy – but especially pups in the city. Luckily for us city folk, every step out of the door is an opportunity for your puppy to meet new people, see new places, and be in different situations.
Coming from the country side, some of myfriends and family think it is wrong, cruel even, to have a dog in a condo with no property or backyard for that matter. Although having a backyard would be nice, Fendi, and most dogs for that matter, live perfectly happy, healthy & fulfilled lives in the city.
A city dog needs to stay calm in all sorts of scenarios; whether its walking in a large crowd, frequent loud noises like fire alarms and sirens, and the often unexpected and strange daily occurrences that make you shake your head and say “Only in Miami”.
Socialization is key for any pup, no matter your living situation or breed, but it is particularly important for large, powerful protective breeds such as the Doberman. I have been very fortunate with Fendi, as she was always an extremely calm, submissive and friendly pup from the get-go. I feel it would have been a lot more challenging if she had a dominate or anxious personality.
Despite having the right disposition, socialization training is something we always and will always continue to stress with her. Here are some things we do on a daily basis to keep her a model canine citizen:
- Bring her everywhere – I am lucky enough to live where the weather is always perfect. This makes it so easy to bring even a big puppy everywhere we go. We take her to patios, parks, beaches, and shopping. I bring her to at least one new place a week.
- Walks – This may seem like a no-brainer, but without a backyard walks are a must for even young puppies. Before Fendi had all of her vaccines, I tried our best to keep her away from other dogs. However, this is not always possible on busy sidewalks and shared open parks. I was worried about her not being fully vaccinated, but the reality is, a dog growing up in the city is bound to have contact with others.
- Obedience class – Fendi goes to obedience training once a week. This is a great opportunity for your puppy to be around others her age and be handled by other people.
- Meeting new people – Fendi gets a lot of attention on our walks! In other cities I have lived, people tend to be put off by Dobermans, but not in Miami! People always want to stop and pet her and as long as she is in a calm state we always oblige. We always make her sit and stay before being pet and ask them to let her sniff them first. If you live in a condo like us, it is also important to introduce your puppy to the people that work there. Fendi is a favourite of the concierge team in our building, they alway bring her treats. I also frequently have people over. Fendi must sit and stay before she gets any attention which is a good incentive for her.
- Dog parks – Now that Fendi has all her vaccines, taking her to the dog park is a great way for her to have fun and get tired out. It is very important to keep a close eye on your puppy and monitor how they act and how other dogs react to them. Puppies have a lot of unbridled energy that can be a turn off to some dogs and they may get overly aggressive with your pup.