I also see issues on the flip side of socialization.
Just as a puppy can be under socialized I think we are seeing what I have taken to calling “over socialization.”
This seems to manifest in puppies who get aroused and over excited and even frustrated
when prevented from being allowed to immediately and wholeheartedly greet other dogs or people. This becomes a problem because the puppies are being rude. They jump on other dogs and people and often will end up getting a big negative response
which can result in the puppy then showing aggression and/or timidity.
Jo-rosie Haffenden & Nando Brown have provided a wonderful plan for helping families called the Rule of Threes. I have been using it with families since the fall and very much like the simplicity and efficacy.
So basically, the rule of threes is this: For every 3 people or dogs your pup meets:
- 1 out of 3 your pup must ignore
- 1 out of 3 your pup can politely greet
- 1 out of 3 your pup can have greater interaction with including potential play
Sounds simple enough. Of course, easier to communicate than to do. For example, if your puppy has been allowed to run up and greet every single person or dog that he or she sees you may have to spend a week not allowing your pup to greet ANYONE. We use an exercise called Park & Pay to help relax the pup and get them over the “but, but, but, I absolutely must greet everyone all the time” mindset we may have accidentally taught them. (If you would like more info on that exercise feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
I am a huge advocate for polite socialization and the rule of threes seems to be just the ticket to get that done. Happy Socializing!