Creating Positive Associations with People & Dogs

First, be sure to regularly review the lesson on “How to socialise” so that you are armed with the right ammunition for the job. 

At home or outside the home, actively create a positive association with people and dogs; this is ALL people and ALL dogs.

This does not mean that your dog has to interact with said people and dogs…in fact, we want our dogs to be able to ignore people and dogs unless given a cue to “go say hi” so this exercise is a great springboard for that! 

Every time your dog notices a person or dog, start the happy-talk and treat-party so that they start to make a positive association with these people and dogs. Person/dog predicts happy-talk and delicious food, therefore people and dogs are safe and exciting! 

The order of events is paramount here! The dog must notice the stimulus first, THEN the happy-talk starts and meatballs rain from the sky. 

We want the dog looking to us with happy anticipation when they spot a person or dog, and then either moving on without an interaction OR going to say hello if you’ve said “go say hi” and allowed the interaction. 

Read on to learn about which people and dogs should be allowed to interact with your puppy.