Master Trainer Michael Soler held a discussion in which he answered two major questions that come from dog-owners. Most people have had difficulties with socialization and puppy biting. Michael shares how you can combat these issues. 

Michael Soler says that there is a major difference between socializing and accepting when training your dog. Socializing your dog is really about teaching your dog how to ignore everything within the environment. This lowers their stress, keeps them focused on you, and prevents unwanted behavior such as jumping, running, and leash pulling. When the dog isn’t seeing these distractions as playtime and is keeping the focus on you, that is when proper socialization training is demonstrated. He says that a great place to starts. By walking your dog at a strip mall, as there are enough distractions without it becoming overwhelming. Sounds and smells are going to drive the dog dramatically, so take small incremental steps to desensitize your dog to certain things. Socializing is getting your dog used to the lifestyle that you’re going to be living. 

If your puppy is nipping you, are they overly tired? Are you playing too rough with them? How are you reacting when your puppy is biting? If you are high drive with your dog, they will return that energy to you. When a puppy is biting your hand, avoid yanking outwards. Their teeth are curved and will scratch you. Instead, push inward and they will gag, forcing them to open their mouth. It also helps if you freeze your hand in place. This is due to their prey drive and the fact that dogs don’t want to play with a dead toy. If you feel the need to use time outs, keep them in their time out place for under 2 minutes, then remove them. If they are repeating the behavior, place them back in time out. It will take a few tries to get them to associate the bad behavior with time out. Lastly, when you bring a new dog into the home, you are the one to establish the boundaries.