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The Importance of Socializing Your Puppy
While it's not really fair to single out Pit Bulls when it comes to the need for socialization, it is an unfortunate necessity due to the current climate and attention being paid by the media and public at large. For Pit Bulls, there is just no room for error. The deeds of the very small minority have cast a dark shadow over the goodness that is the majority. Pit Bulls are public enemy #1, due to intense media scrutiny, poor statistical tracking and some authentic incidents where real harm was done.
I am not defending the dogs that have enacted or displayed violence, rather I am fully in favor of putting to sleep any domestic animal that does harm to any child or adult human. They are no different than any other dog in that regard. If a dog attacks, harms or shows uncontrollable aggression towards humans, they should not be around humans and are candidates for termination.
Do your part
Let's do our part to minimize incidents and hopefully have a positive effect on the lives of both the Pit Bulls and the families that love them.
It's not rocket science
Socialization should not be difficult. It is simply allowing your puppy to become familiar with any and every adult, child, dogs, cats and other animals that you possible can. My current Pit Bull puppy, Diesel, is brought up in a home with small children. Our kids friends are encouraged to interact and play with him at every opportunity. He loves it! The kids love him and he gets used to being around screaming hyper kids from a very young age.
In addition to the kids that come over to play, I make it a point to walk him down to the school bus stop regularly and let every kid that wants to come pet him do so. I encourage the interaction at every opportunity.
Diesel comes to the pet store with me and he is introduced to everyone that goes gaga over how cute he is. Well, he is a Pit Bull and will eventually not have people ogling all over him so I take advantage of it while he is still that gorgeous puppy that gets rock star attention.
Teaching your puppy bite inhibition is also crucial to socializing. Puppies have sharp teeth and when they play they can cause pain. You want to ensure that your puppy learns to control his bite so he doesn't nip too hard and cause kids to shy away from him.
Dogs parks are perfect opportunities to expose your puppy to as many other dogs, breeds and personalities possible. As a small puppy, it's better to wait until all shots are completed and have him on a leash and kept close prior to running amongst the larger dogs.
If at all possible, have other pets. If he/she grows up in a home with other pets, all the better. Having a puppy as a loner is less than ideal. Having several pets, dogs, cats, etc.. allow him/her to grow up in an environment where other animals are present and helps development of relationships across species.
The idea is simple but the results can literally change the world. Pit Bulls have a "bulls-eye" on their backs and their image is in desperate need of an overhaul. Pit Bulls are loveable, loyal, smart, easy to train and make the most amazing family pets. Do you part to ensure your dog is well socialized and never ends up part of that negative stereotype. It's easy and only takes some of your time and depends on your consistency.
For as important as it is, socializing your Pit Bull Puppy should, literally, be a walk in the park.
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