You would probably say my dog loves people. Well, not all dogs love them. Why should you care that your dog loves people? Well, for starters we have domesticated dogs and they live with us. They live around people. You do not absolutely have to make your dog love people. But at the very least, he should tolerate them and do not bark at people.
How can you do that? There are a couple of techniques I would recommend for you to try and implement with a new dog. If your dog doesn’t tolerate people, you cannot call friends over, you cannot have family comes over. Or you will have to lock your dog when people come to your house. You do not want that, right?
The 100 People Party Trick for New Dogs
Before we get to this trick, let’s explain why we do train dogs to love people. Well, after all, we train family dogs. We do not train guard dogs. Yes, some people get guard dogs for their property. But for the purpose of this article, we will stick to family dogs.
You need to understand what your goal is with your dog. If you want a family dog that will greet people with kisses, a wagging tail, and so on, read on.
In order to properly socialize a puppy, you need to introduce him to lots of people. And do that in the first 30 days when you get him. You want to install the right habits and manners in your puppy.
There are simple rules for introducing your dog to people. When people come over, they leave their outdoor shoes outside. Why? Because we cannot trust what they carry on their shoes, especially with a young puppy that is not fully vaccinated and ready for the outside world. Some people wait for their puppy to receive all the vaccines before they introduce them to people.
Well, if you do that, your puppy is already three and a half months old, right? One of the biggest abuse for dogs is not meeting any people at the breeders or in the first few months. What happens is puppies become fearful of people. And they continue to live their whole life being afraid of people. The fact of the matter is your dog’s quality of life depends on socialization.
And that includes human socialization as well. Now, for the 100 people party trick. Many trainers recommend your dog meet 100 different people in the first month or two. How can you do that?
Well, you start with your family and friends. And then with friends of friends. Friends of family members. You can even send invitations to people in your building to come over.
You tell them the rules about outside shoes, and about treats. They give treats to the dog after petting. Do not torture the dog with touches and so on.
We even recommend puppy parties. Now, in this Covid-19 pandemic era we are living in, you might be reluctant to invite unknown people to your home.
But by exposing puppies to peculiar and scary things you flood them with unusual things. We recommend you invite children and even drunk people. Why? Because drunk people move differently, and your dog might get scared of their movements. You can also have a costume party. The more different types of people your dog meets, the less scary he will be in the future.
Take the training session outside
Now that you have invited at least 100 people to your home and your puppy is fully vaccinated, it is time to take him outside. Here are some places where you can socialize your puppy.
Just remember, do not take your puppy anywhere where there is high traffic. Or where there are loads of dogs. Protect your dog and go to a safe environment.
The first place I recommend going is college campuses and schools. Young people usually love dogs. Kids love puppies as well. There will be probably hundreds of people on the campus. Let your dog sniff other people, let them pet your dog, touch him, and play with him. You can just sit at the campus, and I promise you people will come to pet your dog.
Remember, maintain calm and nice behavior, as your dog will react like you. If you set up a calm tone, your dog will also be calm around people.
A quick reminder, if you go to schools, it might be better to go with someone else. You do not want to look like a creepy guy sitting out on the lawn. You can go guy with a guy combination, guy and girl, or two girls combination.
Anyone who pets your dog then gives a prize to your dog. The important thing is that you want to control the interactions. You do not want to let people be chaotic. When kids come, explain to them to calmly and slowly approach the dog.
Then, you can go on a walking trail. Walk with your dog, and people will stop and want to greet your dog. Your dog will also love greeting new people. You can give every new person a treat for your dog.
What you do is teaching your dog that people are cool. And when they come, they give me treats. They pet me, they play with me, and I get loads of rewards.
How to make children love your dog?
This is a crucial part of how to make your dog love people. Children can be a bit challenging, since they can be loud, screaming, and hyperactive around your dog. Explain to them that calm behavior will get them more time with the dog.
And more importantly, give them better rewards. Increase the level of treats for kids. For example, if you reward your dog with kibble, give kids treat, cheese, and other high-value treats. That way your dog learns, oh my god, I love children. They have the best treats.
Can I touch your dog?
With puppies, it is crucial that you teach them that touching is not something scary. Puppies might be afraid or reluctant of people touching their ear, nose, head, and so on.
What you do is you teach your dog that touching can be fun. How to do that? By rewarding. Practice at home. Have your dog in a sit position, give him a treat, and then touch him. Give him another treat. Touch his nose, and give him a treat. Touch his ear, and give him a treat. Pet him, and give him a treat. Your dog learns that if people touch him, he gets rewards.
What to do with shelter dogs?
Everything we talked about until now, works with shelter dogs as well. The only difference is they need more time to adapt to the situation. Some shelter dogs might be way too afraid of humans. Even you might have a hard time building trust and earning their trust.
How to do that? You hand feed. By hand feeding your dog, you teach him that foods come from you. But do not force it. Give him food and let him come to you. Put food closer and closer to you.
After you earn your dog’s trust, you can move onto the 100 people socialization. Do not rush your shelter dog into parties with people.