Most of us wish to take our dog out-and-about with us; from the countryside walk to brunch at the local café or pub. We will plan to go on holiday, stay in hotels or visit friends, perhaps go to classes, a dog show or the local garden fête.
To ensure these outings are as pleasant an experience for your dog as they are for you we need to begin to familiarise the youngster with these anticipated but unnatural environments.
A familiarisation protocol should ensure that a puppy has the time to assess, observe, and become familiar with, the weird and wonderful life that will be their future. If you rush this and the pup becomes fearful of people at the cafe, then this shared outing may never be on your dream list.
Do not rely on putting it right or fixing this associated anxiety at a later date. “Become familiar with” should never involve anxiety, it should always be gradual, never extreme and the pup should always have the right to say “no thanks”.
Nika and the World
I want Nika to learn that there are things that happen “out there” or “over there,” to which she doesn’t need to attend.
Nika on Wheels
Familiarisation to car travel is a valuable investment of your time and effort and can avoid much stress for your pup.
Learning About Familiarisation
Recommended reading for greater understanding and practical ideas.
A Road to Nowhere
When familiarity is stripped away we seek recognisable signposts that will take us back to comfort and security. This is survival instinct. It is worth listening to as it keeps us alive.
The Experienced Dog
Knowing your dog has receive sufficient preparation does not mean every eventuality, but a range of different conditions so that when the unexpected happens they will draw on their skills and solve the issue.