Few people know how important puppy socialization is to a well-adjusted adult dog. The Puppy Prodigies TM website has excellent information on working with puppies. Even people with an “accidental” litter should work with the litter and not just let them ‘grow up.”
We adopted Molly four years ago but she’s never experienced Halloween. She’s my “go to” dog when I need one to take for a demonstration. She’s also the dog that usually goes with me on home visits for Lab Rescue of FL. I turn her loose in the house and watch how the people interact with her. Do they mind if she sniffs the counter or the cat? How do the kids react to having her around? Is the home decorated for a big dog; will she clear a table when she wags her tail? Because we live in an adult community we don’t get Trick or Treaters. I miss it.
This year I asked Lisa Yeager, of Primo Ink and Toner, if we could join her and the kids. I was really happy when she said “yes.” Halloween evening we went to the house and the kids were still getting dressed. The little boys, Josh, 2, and Jake, 4, were all over Molly. They hugged her, patted her, tugged on her tail, looked in her ears, checked out her “big teeth.” Everyone was talking at once, eating pizza and cookies, moving around the house. Molly was fine with all of it. She acted like she did this every day. She didn’t even take food from the little boys.
About dusk, after Josh’s shoe had been located, we all started out. We saw kids and adults of all sizes dressed in costumes and masks. Molly saw a fuzzy spider about 18″ across bouncing around the sidewalk, talking jack o’ lanterns, smoke machines, air compressors, other dogs, and took it all in stride. At one house there was a person sitting on the sidewalk dressed in a alien suit w/ big flippers for hands, a huge wrinkly head, and baggy clothes. Molly just sniffed him and decided he was ok, too.
After about an hour the kids were done so Lisa and crew headed back home. Molly was beginning to disengage at that point so we didn’t go back inside. That might have been too much with the little boys so we went home.
I want to offer a HUGE THANK YOU to Lisa for letting us join her. I think we both had a really good time.
I can help your dog be more social, too. Give me a call. 727-372-9825.