In this episode of Pandemic Puppy, Kayla discusses undersocialized puppies.
How do you know your puppy may be undersocialized?
- This will vary per dog depending on breed and personality, as some breeders are generally more reserved than others
- Puppy history is important to consider. Hoarding or parvo puppies are usually very undersocialized
- It’s normal for your puppy to startle around new things or to be a little shy, but it’s not normal for extreme reactions such as urinating or trembling, or if the startle starts to escalate. If this is the case, you should seek a professional behavior consultant.
What to do if your puppy is showing signs of being undersocialized?
- Go at your puppy’s pace; work harder, not faster
- If your puppy is under extreme distress, you are going too fast
- If you can’t find a comfortable threshold for your puppy, speak to a professional
- Learn dog body language
- “We want to find the level in which your puppy notices the thing they are concerned about and we want to be working at that level”
- If they are under threshold, let them observe the things that are concerning them
- Support and cheerlead them in ways that help them
- Adjust your expectations
- Counter-conditioning throughout their lifetime
- Is it a trend or a blip? If your puppy is continually spooking at something over and over, it might mean you need to make a more structured plan.
- Overall, please seek professional help!
Links Mentioned in the Episode:
Kayla grew up in northern Wisconsin and studied ecology and animal behavior at Colorado College. She founded Journey Dog Training in 2013 to provide high-quality and affordable dog behavior advice. She’s an avid adventurer and has driven much of the Pan-American Highway with her border collie Barley. She now travels the US in a 2006 Sprinter with her two border collies, Barley and Niffler. Aside from running Journey Dog Training, Kayla also runs the nonprofit K9 Conservationists, where she and the dogs work as conservation detection dog teams.