Socialization for Great Dane puppies is SO important!
This is how you teach dogs to live in our world. They learn to be confident, because they know that everyday things (other dogs, people, sounds, textures) aren’t going to hurt them.
Confident, well-socialized dogs are calm, easy to train and free of aggression, fear and frustration.
WHAT IS PUPPY CULTURE? A METHOD OF SOCIALIZATION FOR GREAT DANE PUPPIES
Puppy Culture is a written protocol for socializing puppies before they leave the litter at 8-12 weeks. Good breeders will use this protocol, even though it requires a LOT of their time.
We talk a LOT about choosing ethical breeders, and this is one reason why!
Quality breeders socialize puppies a lot before they go home with you. This helps keep dogs OUT of rescues and shelters, and helps to make sure that the dog you welcome into the family is positive, friendly and free of aggression.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN PUPPY CULTURE?
Puppy Culture goes beyond exposure to grass and tile and encourages breeders and owners to the socialization of Great Dane puppies in tackling obstacles and gaining confidence. Puppies are also exposed to a variety of sights, sounds, smells, handling, people, textures and environments.
SOCIALIZATION OF GREAT DANE PUPPIES WHO ARE FEARFUL
Fearful or unsure puppies will keep their bodies low to the ground. They may pin their ears back, tuck their tail, and keep their head shrugged or hung low. Additionally, they will shy away from eye contact. When being handled, they may cower, act ‘head shy’ or roll onto their side or back.
Fearful puppies should be socialized as early as possible.
Socialization does not mean forcing your fearful Great Dane puppy to interact with other dogs or humans in situations that they could get hurt- like dog parks.
Socialization of Great Dane puppies means that you are exposing them to new situations and allowing them to learn that these situations are not actually scary.
SOCIALIZATION OF GREAT DANE PUPPIES WHO ARE CONFIDENT
Confident puppies will have their heads up and their ears forward. They are more likely to make eye contact and truly engage with people. When they are raised with Puppy Culture, they are especially good at maintaining focus and even sitting as a form of ‘please’.
WHY DOES SOCIALIZATION OF GREAT DANE PUPPIES MATTER?
Puppies from healthy, well-tempered parents that are properly socialized from birth are more likely to be confident, curious and calm family pets.
Installing confidence and a calm indifference to the environment makes training a breeze! Dogs that are over-stimulated or anxious about the environment around them will have a much harder time learning and focusing.
A lot of aggression and reactivity is based in fear. The world can be an overwhelming place!
Great Danes are prone to anxiety and aloof, timid, or even aggressive behaviors. But none of that is actually within the written breed standard, and none of it has to be a reality.
SOCIALIZE YOUR GREAT DANE PUPPY
Even if your puppy didn’t come from a breeder that spent a lot of time on socialization, there are LOTS of things you can do!
Expose your puppy to a variety of textures; wood chips, sand, blankets, tile, gravel, grass, cement and bridges.
Give them obstacles such as tunnels, ramps, platforms and FIT Paws.
Expose them to a variety of people wearing glasses, hats, masks and walking with strollers, bicycles, wheelchairs, canes, walking sticks, snowshoes and skis.
Explore novel environments and encourage curiosity.
We hope this helps you not only choose ethical breeders that are creating wonderful family dogs, but find the Great Dane of your dreams!