Let’s face it: we all know that we need to socialize our poodles, but finding the time to do so on top of our already busy lifestyles can be hard. Besides grooming appointments, vet visits, and finding the 3-year old having a tea party with the poodle as the guest of honor, what other forms of poodle socialization can be fit into a busy day? Listed below are a few ideas.
Doggy Day Care
Day care is the perfect solution for a busy pet parent. Simply drop off your poodle and pick him up a few hours later. As an added bonus, he will likely be completely exhausted from a fun day. What could be simpler than that? The day care facility will separate your dog into play groups with 6 – 8 other dogs of similar energy level. Safer and more convenient than the dog park, a trained professional will supervise your dog all day and help with the poodle socialization process while providing positive feedback and correcting bad behavior. Your dog may even make new poodle friends!
Dog walking club
Since your poodle likely needs extra exercise on the weekend, dog walking clubs can be a great poodle socialization. Inquire with a local dog training facility or breed association and find out if any clubs meet in your area. Typically, small groups of 8 – 10 dog owners meet at a local trail or bicycle path and walk together. Although the dogs do not necessarily play with one another, simply coexisting among new dogs and people is a great socialization lesson, particularly if your poodle tends to be protective.
Run Errands Together
Need to run to the bank, hardware store, Starbucks drive through, or pick up a growler from the local brewery? Most places such as these are dog friendly, and would love nothing more than to see a poodle strut through their doors. Introducing your dog to new people and experiences is a crucial part of the poodle socialization process, and running errands together is a simple way to accomplish this goal.
Attend Obedience or Rally-O Class
Even if your dog has already been through basic obedience, find out what other classes are offered at the local training facility. Taking an advanced level course, or even trying something new, such as Agility, is a great way to socialize your dog in a controlled manner. With a limited time commitment (typically only an hour per week for 4 – 6 weeks), getting out of the house can be a welcome break for you, too.
Invite Dog-Loving Friends Over for a Cook Out
This is a great way to knock out two tasks on your to-do list: catching up with those friends you always say you will invite over (but don’t) and letting your dog play with new people. If your friends are also bringing their dogs over the first time, be sure to start the doggy introduction process in neutral territory, such as on the sidewalk.
Do you have any tried and true methods that you would like to share with the Poodle Patch community? Please feel free to share them in our forum! Click here to join in the conversation.