On part two of my interview with the professionals that literally wrote the book on puppy and dog socialization, we will dig deeper into the common myths, mistakes, and successful techniques. You can try these instead to make sure your doodle is comfortable and confident for life. Catch episode 22 to hear the first half of our interview.
In this interview with the authors of Puppy Socialization, What It Is and How to Do It, Marge Rogers and Eileen Anderson, you'll find answers to questions like:
– How to deposit into your puppy's bank account
– What do appropriate greetings with your puppy look like and how to guide them?
– How to use a puppy socialization checklist
– Where to socialize your puppy
– Your dog might NOT be asking for belly rubs when they roll to their back for pets
– Why is your doodle having submissive pee, or “glee pee”?
– Puppy socialisation before vaccinations
– Can your puppy socialize with vaccinated dogs?
– How much socialization does a puppy need?
– Can you socialize a puppy before vaccinations?
Do you want help keeping track of all the sights, sounds, textures, places, and people to which your doodle needs positive, ongoing, and quality exposures? Don't try to keep track of it all in your mind by using my free Doodle Puppy Socialization Checklist!
On this part, two of my interview with the professionals that literally wrote the book on puppy and dog socialization, we will dig deeper into the common myths mistakes and successful techniques. You can try these instead to make sure your doodle is comfortable and confident for life. Catch episode 22 to hear the first half of our interview.
Corinne- The Doodle Pro™: When you discuss even using a can and just rewarding them with food or play when they explore new things, it reminds me of puppy culture's box game where anytime the puppy approaches the box, they might put a paw in all the different things they can think of.
We're rewarding and I see both as creating like kind of an optimistic nature in your doodle where if I try new things, rewards will come as opposed to I'm fearful of punishment. Like I might get a zap, I might get a Uhuh or something. Instead I am allowed and I'm encouraged to explore and things around me are.
Marge Rogers: That is such a fabulous point, Karen. The other piece of that is that dog training is a mechanical skill, much like golf or tennis. I could give you a book on tennis. You could read the chapter on how to serve an ace. You could totally intellectually understand it. You might even be able [00:01:00] to visualize it in your head.
If you'd never played tennis before, you'd be lucky to hit the ball the first time you throw it in the air, let alone serve an ace. The same is true for dog training. You could say, oh, Karin, I totally get this. I'm totally on board. We're gonna use streets, we're gonna use positive reinforcement. We're gonna do all that stuff.
When we start doing it, it's gonna feel awkward, like the first time you played tennis or golf, or even drove a car. But the more you do it, the easier it gets. And I'll tell you a little secret. Those of us who had a dog more than 30 years ago, there was no positive reinforcement. We used to jerk the leash and say heal a lot.
And we also used to say no bad dog a lot. And if the dog wasn't trained, we always blamed the dog. He's dominant. He's stubborn, he's blowing me off, he's giving me the paw. We never thought we had bad timing. It was never my fault if my dog [00:02:00] wasn't trained. So I think it's important, particularly with puppies, one that we recognize that we're learning along with the puppy.
Yes. And then two, we remember that we're teaching a little baby animal of an entirely different species how to live in our world. So when he bites you or. Steals something and teaches you how to chase him. He's not being dominant, he's not being stubborn. He's not blowing you off or giving you the paw.
That's what puppies do. He's just being a puppy. So it's our job to teach him human ways, not his job to figure out all on his own without any help from us. So we wanna give our puppies some grace and understand that they're little tiny baby animals and we wanna give ourselves some grace as we learn these skills that are gonna feel awkward at first.
But it does get [00:03:00] easier with practice.
Corinne- The Doodle Pro™: I love it.
Eileen Anderson: And you start to be able to anticipate things like we started with what may sound to a lot of people, like a really silly example. Who's gonna be afraid of a can of soup? But you're gonna build on that and that's gonna get you thinking.
And it's okay, I have a Roomba, I have a one of those. Vacuum cleaners that goes around instead of just going about my business, getting out the room to go, oh gosh, the puppy's scared. No, you learn to anticipate those things. Yes. Okay, I'm gonna bring out the room, but I'm not gonna turn it on.
I'm gonna have it in the middle of the room. We're gonna treat it like the can. Tomato soup puppy gets to explore. The room is not moving, it's not doing anything. And then we move up in intensity as marches described. We might turn it on, let it beep, and way after we know that the puppy's Hey, this is a cool thing.
It might change when it moves and it might not. My recent dog who was not in his socialization period, but he was pretty young when I got him. I set [00:04:00] everything up, I got the Roomba out and I did all this. We worked up and I finally turned it on and he was like, cool. Now I may have helped that by setting the whole situation up.
He may have been born thinking. Weird noises and moving things on the ground are fine. But I have learned the kinds of things that a dog has to get used to. What a weird thing. And you'll learn those things the blender or the hair dryer or the garbage disposal.
All those things will learn. It will become more fluent to you as you develop your skills in doing this. But as you develop your skills for training and for pairing these things, you develop your skills for anticipating what kinds of things might bother or scare your puppy.
Another one that people often don't think of and was something for me to learn is if you get a summer puppy, what happens when you bring out your overcoat and your boots in the winter? That will be a new thing that they need to be exposed to.[00:05:00]
Corinne- The Doodle Pro™: I wanted to ask if one of you could explain bank account, And what your philosophy is with that.
Marge Rogers: I like to think of exposing puppies to situations as creating bank accounts for those. I would love to credit who came up with that term? I don't recall who it is. I think almost all trainers use that terminology.
Yes. At some point describing things to folks. So let's say children, I wanna create a bank account for the neighbor's, eight year old boy, so every time the puppy has a positive experience, I put a deposit in the bank account for the neighbor's eight year old boy.
And that comes through the food and play. We know that. So in life, Things happen. Perhaps the child trips or he comes running over one day and scares or startles the puppy, he's gonna make [00:06:00] a withdrawal from his account with that puppy. But what we wanna create is huge bank accounts with lots and lots of deposits in.
So if a withdrawal does happen, there's plenty of goodwill still left in the account. that eight year old boy or cats, or going to the veterinarian or going to the groomer. So real life does happen. We can't wrap our puppy in bubble wrap, but we want them. So many good experiences using food and play that when those withdrawals do happen, when there is withdrawal from an account that the puppy just bounces right back because he's had so much good experience with that item.
Corinne- The Doodle Pro™: I think that's an excellent explanation.
Marge Rogers: The great example of that is nail trims. So I pair nail trims, I do [00:07:00] voluntary husbandry behaviors with my own dogs, and I teach my client dogs so they get yummy food. Who wants their nails trimmed and they jump up on the couch and start handing me their paws,
And once in a while, oops, I quick you, that doesn't stop. They don't run away and RIMS has millions of dollars in it, and a small withdrawal is just no big deal. It doesn't impact them that much. So we wanna make sure all their bank accounts have really a lot of deposits and are very off.
Corinne- The Doodle Pro™: And that explains why the quality of the experience is so important that it's truly a deposit.
It's not just neutral. They are adding something good to that experience, but then continuing the quantity, so it's continued deposits and over time so that there's some room in that account for a, with.
Marge Rogers: Absolutely. Sometimes owners will [00:08:00] ask, we'll be having a dialogue about what happened during the week and I'll, and they'll say, oh, I had this person over.
How did that go? Oh, my dog was fine, . And I think, again, sometimes owners equate fine with the absence of barking or growling or lunging or the absence of hiding and trembling. And. Sometimes puppies, bees can be sitting there going, wow, I'm really scared. I'm really scared. I'm really scared.
And they're not barking or growling or lunging, and they haven't left an HID and they're not trembling, but they're also not fine either. So I want puppies who are relaxed and happy. And we have a lot of pictures of that in the book with big smiles on their face, that they're enjoying themself and that we're making sure we are putting in deposits.
We don't wanna have neutral exposures. We want them to create positive things because [00:09:00] if I'm busy talking to my guest, hi, how are you? I might not be noticing what my puppy is doing. I might not be noticing that he's a little stiff and the whites of his eyes are showing, or that maybe he, laid down between my feet because he's a little worried, not because he wants to hang out on my feet, or he is sleepier tired.
Yeah. That's another important piece of this is making sure as we're having these exposures, that we are listening to what our puppy is saying. And that means we have to sometimes look at them, and it doesn't mean we have to be rude to strangers. If I have my cookies here, oh, hi, it's so nice to meet you and look down and look what's the puppy doing?
What does he look like? I have a three second rule for greeting. So when my puppy is meeting somebody new, it's always puppy's choice. So I'm gonna say, you can stay right there. I'm gonna see if my puppy wants to come up to you. And if the puppy goes up, I count in [00:10:00] my head, one banana, two banana, three banana, and then I call the puppy back.
I'm calling the puppy back now, just so you know. Why do I do that? For a couple of reasons. Usually the longer the puppy stays with someone, the more familiar they become with the puppy. Yes. And before you know what, they've picked him up or they're holding him like a baby, or they grabbing both his head in both of their hands and people.
I had somebody flick a puppy on the nose one time
Corinne- The Doodle Pro™: in a greeting!? . Oh no, you wouldn't even do that to a child.
Marge Rogers: Why would you do that to a puppy? But we dunno, especially if we're allowing our puppy to interact with someone that we don't know. So the longer the puppy stays, the more familiar the person becomes.
And maybe they start leaning over the puppy more. Maybe they're, like I said, scooping him up so the puppy doesn't know he can [00:11:00] leave. He's just a little tiny baby. So I like calling him back for a couple reasons. One, so he knows, he learns that he could puppy, puppy, puppy. And then I give him cookies for coming back to.
He's also learning how to be interrupted from something, right? Yeah. I waited 30 seconds or a minute. He might be so engaged, he won't be able to leave, but after three seconds he can probably come back to me and get some, and the arousal. Is kept yes is lower and then I give him the opportunity to go back and say hello again if he wants to.
So what's not to the love? Oh, she calls me, I come back, I get cookies and I get to go back and say hi to Eileen again. How? That's win-win. And then if he got a little nervous but he didn't know how to leave, if he doesn't wanna go back, he doesn't. I said, oh, he's done today. We had a busy day.
I want to see confident body [00:12:00] language from puppies during greetings or encountering new people or new things. Sometimes owners tell me, oh, my puppy is so friendly. He loves everyone. He goes up to them and he asks for belly. I like a good neck rub from my husband.
I don't like a good neck rub from the stranger on the bus or at the farmer's market. So if he, I'd be like, what are you doing? It's very vulnerable. . Yes. Yes. So a typical greeting, confident puppies don't run up to people and show their belly, right? Show all their, that's not a confident body posture.
So if my puppy runs up and then all of a sudden he tips over, I'm gonna call him back. Cause that's not a confident body posture. Confident body posture is standing on all fours. Maybe sitting weight is [00:13:00] distributed equally or maybe moving forward to say, hi, it's not going here are all my internal organs.
Right. sometimes we say, that's the, puppy saying this a little too intense for me. So maybe the puppy went running up and then the person leaned right over the top of this puppy's space bubble. We talk about space bubbles in the book and then the puppy rolls over. He's not really asking for a, belly rub.
He's rolling over and saying, I'm not a threat. I'm not a threat. Cuz that person leaned right over top of his space bubble. if we think about it, how else would anybody say hi to a little tiny puppy? While there are some ways, but yes, most people are gonna run right over and loom over the puppy and that can be very intense owners with older dogs or dogs in adolescents or even older will often say, I don't understand.
I [00:14:00] took 'em. And everywhere we met so many people, it's not the quantity, it's the quality. And were we putting deposits in that account or were people just picking up and hugging our puppy and kissing him cuz he was so super. And
Corinne- The Doodle Pro™: the belly rub piece, people are shocked that when they roll to their back that doesn't mean an invitation to a belly rub.
But if you think about two dogs at play, if you were to see them playing and one is just laying on their back, people understand that a little bit more. Like they're using their dog language to us. They're like, oh, that dog actually isn't having any, fun. And sometimes they think of the bigger dog as the bully if they keep going.
And they're using the only language they have with both that dog and with us when we're leaning over them.
Marge Rogers: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Do you want help keeping track of all of the sites sounds, textures, [00:15:00] places, people that your doodle needs positive. Ongoing and quality exposures to don't try to keep track of it all in your mind. Use my free puppy socialization checklist.
You can find it for free. At the doodle pro.com/socialization.
Eileen Anderson: And thought body language, I just wanna give a word of encouragement here. We don't call it a language for nothin'. and it's a foreign language to us. We're always learning. I've, written many blog posts observing my dogs and the cool body language things they do.
And I've been looking at dogs for a solid 10 years now. But sometimes Marge will send me a, video and say, what do you think about this? And I'll say, what is it I'm supposed to be noticing? I don't quite get it. It's like we're always learning. It is a foreign language for us. And once you learn to see certain things, you'll always see them.
But there will always be new things for you to learn. And of course, it depends on your [00:16:00] individual dog too. You'll become the expert if you concentrate and study your dog, you'll become the expert on him, and you'll know when he's the happiest and when he's upset, and all those little nuances in between.
Corinne- The Doodle Pro™: Paired with the rolling on the back is often peeing. Oh, and you address that. So people call it I know. Okay, Marge just raising her hand . So people say, when I have company come over, or even when I come home, my dog pees everywhere.
Can you share a little bit about that?
Marge Rogers: Yes. We have a section in the book called Glee Pee. Yes. And people often think the puppy gets so excited, he often eliminates and that he'll just grow out of it. And I look at what happens during the family's greeting rituals. I have them describe it for me, and the family comes home, or the kids come home from [00:17:00] school and they let the puppy out of the crate and they lean over the puppy and they're, how was your day?
And they're so excited and it's all hands on. And the puppy will sometimes eliminate, sometimes they'll roll over and eliminate which is really a sign of the puppy's pretty distressed and fearful at that point. Yeah. So we put a lot. Spatial pressure on puppies. A lot of social pressure on puppies.
And sometimes we overwhelm them. I know that we are totally separate species, but imagine your guests coming over to meet a newborn and everybody rushing up to the new bargain. Hey, how are you? Like that newborn would probably start crying and picking it up and jostling it and doing all of those things.
I, really want to teach families especially with [00:18:00] families, with children who can be so exuberant and happy with their little high voices, but to just, let's bring it down a little bit and role model those good. For the puppy, because how we greet our puppy every day is how we're teaching our puppy about greeting rituals.
Yes. So if we come home every day, hey, and it's a big party, and there's madness and there's frenzy. And it's so cute when the puppy is this big, but when he is 50 or 60 pounds and he is jumping on you and now his paws at your stomach or he is taller than your children, it's not so fun anymore. And then they're like, make him stop.
He always jumps and we're like but, that's what you taught him to do every single day for the first six months of his life. Let's role model some calm behaviors as we greet and we [00:19:00] have those interactions and let's always make sure we have an adult to make sure that the puppy is learning behavior that we want instead of behavior that we don't want.
Corinne- The Doodle Pro™: A big concern is my adolescent either somebody told me to wait or I didn't know this about socialization, or I got my dog when they were older. A lot of rehome doodles, that's when people receive them. Like other dogs is when they're adolescents. So if this was missed, are we too late?
Marge Rogers: Oh, that's a fabulous question.
No, absolutely not. Behavior is fluid. I always think of it like a little stream, and if we put a rock in that blocks the path of the water we can find another way around it. It's going to be much more work if the puppy is older. But the sooner we start, the better because the less the the dog will have rehearsed those [00:20:00] behaviors.
But what we describe in the book for puppies in their sensitive period for socialization is the same for us. Six month old and nine month old, and 18 month old. The process will just be a little bit slower, and generally speaking, the dog is going to be a little bit more vocal about things that he's worried about.
Barking, growling, lunging those things are all. Intended to increase distance, their distance increasing behaviors for whatever the dog is doing that the those items towards. They're not saying come closer. He is not being friendly. Generally speaking, he's trying to say, Hey, Don't come any closer.
And when they're little tiny baby puppies they might use avoidance a little bit more. But as they get older and they mature, they start affirming their displeasure or their worry a little bit [00:21:00] louder. Yes. So we wanna listen to that. I always tell my owners, thank your dog for growling.
Thank him for growling. Don't be mad at him for growling, cuz he's telling you a growl is a warning and it comes before biting. And I wanna say thank you. I'm sorry I missed the smaller warnings, the little tugs on my shirt. I miss those. But I heard your growl. Thank you. Let's get you out of this situation.
Corinne- The Doodle Pro™: that's important to remember, even if you did do purposeful quality and quantity socialization during that window, that you still use the same methods to continue it. When they are going through these more fearful
Marge Rogers: periods. And I also will add that we wanna continue these types of activities, not just through 16 weeks of age, but through the first year of the puppy's life.
And as Eileen said, going forward, anytime we're gonna feed the puppy anyway, we're gonna play with them anyway. That was part of the [00:22:00] deal when we brought them up. Okay, I'll feed You Why not use that to build value into things that the puppies or dog is going to encounter. Things like nail trims, going to the veterinarian and having their ears clean, being groomed.
We just assume the puppies get used to it and they don't without a little help from our part. Some some puppies tolerate. And then they come home and get stress colitis. We, fostered a doodle who used to get stress colitis after going to the groomer. So he'd get this beautiful groom and then he'd come home and, Yes.
Not be clean anymore, . Oh yeah. So we can use, it doesn't have to be stress. Those situations don't have to be stressful. There are things that we can do, and I will, I promise you, one, if you invest some time into [00:23:00] learning what your dog is telling you, and two, take the time to teach instead of expecting them to know it.
Dogs are so fabulous. They read us so well and they learn to read what's going on. And cues that predict good things and cues that predict bad things. They're, great. We're, almost codependent on each other. I hope I need mine as much as he needs me. Yeah. But it really does take your relationship to another level when it becomes two way instead of one way, it really is as.
Corinne- The Doodle Pro™: A huge conflict that new puppy parents feel is they've invested three, $4,000 into this new doodle and it's healthy and as a gorgeous little teddy bear. And either their breeder or their vet has said parvo and they are so [00:24:00] scared of risking their perfect puppy's health by bringing them in new environments and exposing them to different places.
But they know that socialization, whatever exactly that means is really important. I know that the Vet Society has released a new statement. Can you help people navigate this conflict that they're experiencing just out of wanting to
Eileen Anderson: do? First of all, we're not vets. We're not your vets, and we always want people to listen to their vet and do what their vet says.
Their vet is the head of their P'S health team. So we would not contradict a bit. But we want people to know that the professional societies for both behavior vets. Primary vets both say that the bigger danger of the two, and they're both real. Yeah. Is lack of socialization. Because lack of socialization can lead to fear.
Fear can lead to [00:25:00] biting. Biting can lead to a puppy being rehomed or lose its life. And that's sad to think about, but it's real and it's statistically born out again and again. And so the major societies are saying, find safe ways to get the puppies out. That's the sensitive period.
And it closes right about the time when we used to say, okay, they've had all their vaxes it's okay to take a back and it's this ironic terrible juxtaposition. But people can work out safe ways. We have pictures in the book of putting down a blanket, keeping a very limited space.
Don't go to dog parks. Marge can talk about more things like that, but. Carefully expose your puppy to the things that he's gonna see in his life. Starting young as carefully as you can under the supervision of your veterinarian. And if, your vet is one who says Hey, [00:26:00] there's a really bad outbreak of parvo right now, listen to 'em.
And where should I really not go? Where might I be able to go if I take these precautions? Have a dialogue
Corinne- The Doodle Pro™: with your vet.
Marge Rogers: What, and it's not socializing your puppy or keep him home and don't let his feet touch the grass.
There's many, options in between, and trainers and owners learned all this through the recent pandemic when we had the shelter in place and people were still bringing puppies home when we had to socially distance. And there's ways to do it, even putting your puppy in the car and driving him someplace is better than keeping him home.
And it really is a risk. Benefit analysis, like there's huge benefits to be gained. What is the risk in your particular area and your veterinarian might know a risk that your trainer is not aware of. And again, it's about [00:27:00] having that conversation, but keeping your puppy in the house is not an option because the likelihood of him developing behavioral problems if he's not exposed to the world, increase significantly when he doesn't leave the home.
There was some puppies that were studied and they had very little law say almost no interaction until they were 14 weeks of age, and they became, which is still young. Yes, Those are still afraid of everything. They were afraid to leave the crate. They were afraid, or their kennel, their so puppies who come home are, and don't experience things are going to most likely be fearful of other things.
And there's many things you can still be doing at home if you're waiting for their first set of vaccines to kick in seven days. There's all kinds of grooming and [00:28:00] handling and noises. And if you're having people over to your house, there's still things that he can be exposed to. Car rides is another one.
So it's not keep your puppy home or take him everywhere. There are many variations in between. It's not this or that. There's ways to do it safely.
Corinne- The Doodle Pro™: And Marge, we talked earlier about how both of us have seen the fallout of parents doing the best. They know the best that they've been told and their puppies didn't leave their backyard or their apartment.
the lifelong fear that we're working against that have been
Marge Rogers: developed. Oh my gosh. It's debilitating and it, breaks my heart because I empathize so much with the, owners. They're doing what in their mind, the expert tolds [00:29:00] them. They're looking to someone who bred this dog and maybe they had a bad experience.
I've never lost a puppy to parvo. I can't even imagine how heartbreaking that would be, and I could see why. I can understand why someone might go to the other end of this. Spectrum. Sure. But at the same time, there are real issues with not exposing your puppy to the world. Puppies who seemed fine, maybe a little reserved, the owners often describe their puppies as a little shy or timid or takes a while to warm up.
But remember at that age, they're not programmed to be shy or timid or to take a little while to warm up. They're programmed to be more interactive and explore things. Particularly with some breeds who aren't as affiliative, there might even be a genetic component that says, Ooh, you should be wary because I'm a [00:30:00] watchdog, or whatever.
So then when the p. Hit adolescence. All of a sudden their cute little puppy isn't this big anymore. He might be 50 or 60 pounds, or maybe he's a mini, but now he has big feelings about things and he's very vocal about saying, stop. Don't come any closer to me. And how's he gonna say that? He's gonna bark, he's gonna growl.
He's gonna lunge. He might try to avoid the thing, and if he can't then he tugs harder on our shirts and he starts, and sometimes they say, if you're not gonna protect me, I'm gonna protect myself.
Corinne- The Doodle Pro™: I could talk to you for hours. we are all on the same page as to how important this is and it, we couldn't cover everything that is in this book.
It is so rich, but it's also really approachable for pet parents who have had no experience having a dog before or have had ton, but [00:31:00] wanna do better with this one. Your dog could be at any age, even it says puppy. You would need to continue that socialization in the right way. So how can people continue to follow you?
Where can they find your book? If they wanna continue this conversation and learn more, how can they do
Eileen Anderson: puppy socialization.com. We have a website, and on that website we not only have links to purchase our book, but we also have free articles that are online and also downloadable lots of resources for people. We are working on that site and building it all the time. Okay, and that's where to find us. The book is also available at Clean Run, Dogwise, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, lots of places.
The e ebook is available on any ebook seller that you could find internationally, and I think you'll be able to find it with our names, wonder and Puppy socialization.com will get you.
Marge Rogers: And I'll
Corinne- The Doodle Pro™: [00:32:00] include links in our show notes. Great. I can't thank you enough and I know that we are doodle people and you enjoy doodles
Eileen Anderson: as well.
You are the Doodle Pro and we are pro doodles and we are delighted to be here talking to your doodle and Portie audience!
Corinne- The Doodle Pro™: They deserve their own show. Thank you very much ladies. I so appreciate your time and I look forward to talking to you again.
Marge Rogers: Thank you for having us. Our pleasure.