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Last time we defined puppy socialization and talked about why it’s so important to socialize your poodle.  Now you’re about to discover how to do it.

Fortunately, it’s easy.  All you need to do is constantly introduce your puppy to new people, places and things.  But be careful – you don’t want to overwhelm your puppy with a potentially frightening situation.  And that’s why you should go slow with the introductions.

For example, your poodle’s first introduction to the vacuum shouldn’t consist of you hauling it out and starting it right next to your pup.  Instead, you want him to investigate it at his leisure when the vacuum is turned off.  Then when you do start it, make sure your pup is in a far away room. Slowly over a few exposures you can bring the vacuum closer to your puppy.

Now the second thing to remember is that your poodle puppy is looking to YOU for direction.  That means your reaction is going to influence how your puppy behaves in a certain situation.  If you’re acting like Pup should be scared, he WILL be scared.  If instead you’re calm, he’ll be calm too.

So, what types of people, places and things should you introduce your poodle puppy to? The short answer is anything and everything.  The more unique situations your poodle is exposed to when he’s young, the more confident he’ll be as an adult dog.

Here’s just a tiny list of examples:

New people.

The more people your poodle puppy meets, the better.  And the more diverse (different genders, ages, heights, weights, race, et) the more likely your grown poodle will happily accept most people.

New sounds.

These include household sounds like vacuums, blenders, the phone, TV, radio, showers and so on.  But this also includes sounds like traffic, fireworks (don’t get too close!), thunderstorms, the roar of a waterfall, city noises, crowds, screaming kids at play, etc.

New animals.

Your poodle puppy should be introduced to other dogs, as well as cats, horses and any other animals you can find.  Teach him to be respectful around these animals, though.

New situations.

Take your poodle out to the county fair, to a local nursing home, to a playground, swimming at the beach, playing in the park… anywhere where he’ll see new people and things.  Just carrying him on a crowded sidewalk alongside a busy street is a good exercise.

New things.

Things you think are “normal” are totally foreign to your new pup.  So be sure to introduce him to anything and everything, such as walkers, wheelchairs, bikes, ladders, pots and pans, elevators, stairs… and so on.  Literally, anything and everything.

One final tip…

Take your little poodle puppy to the vet’s office BEFORE he actually has to go in for shots and a check up.  Let the vet staff fawn over him and give him treats.  In short, make sure he thinks the vet’s office is FUN!

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