Ask Pinto: Life at Camp A Better Pet

Hi everyone, it’s Pinto!

I am going to start my new writing job with an easy one for me to answer. 

“What is puppy socialization?”

Puppy socialization is a big deal to my favorite human, mama Rachel. She says it means playing with friends and exploring new stuff, but I call it having lots of fun! 

You guys know that dogs of all ages, especially puppies, stop over to play with me at our DIPs a lot these days, right? 

I am happy I have gotten big enough to hang out with our visitors. I get to run with everyone and feel like I am a big kid who knows what to do. I think this is because mama Rachel started showing me the world when I was really little. She says my “puppy socialization” started when she gave me a “gentle introduction to different sights, surfaces, sounds, and scents in our house and yard.” 

Here at Camp A Better Pet, my super puppy siblings and I have been playing with each other and exploring since we were born this winter (with this link, you can see me in a video when I was only 5 days old!). Even though it was really cold outside, Rachel hosted her DIPs for the dogs and people she teaches. We stayed inside because we were too little to play with the big dogs but when we got to be about 3 weeks old we could hear all the barks and people talking outside! We got to smell the visitors on our dog mommy, Franny, and our big brother, Shamrock when they came inside to play with us. 

Once we were big enough to go outside for the DIPs, Rachel told us that as young dogs, we need to meet other dogs from outside our home to get a more “refined judgment about what constitutes rude behavior or foolish behavior.” 

I asked her what this means because that is a lot of big human words! She told me that by playing with other dogs, by sitting on the ground instead of the warm floor, by hearing lots of barks and cars and visitors’ voices, and by smelling new things outside, I would slowly and safely learn about my world. Playing around people and other dogs, I’d get to learn what “behaviors are expected of me” and when I should do things. 

I am learning my manners! When I do what she asks, mama Rachel gives me treats and hugs me and is super nice. If I don’t listen or if the visiting dogs do something that seems a little off to Rachel, she has us sit out or go on her leash to get focused and calmer. I really like the tasty food bits she gives us. She calls them “high value” treats, I call them yummy!  

I think I’m going to keep doing what she asks, especially because she gives me the best hugs and rubs my ears just so when I listen. It makes me feel good when I know what she wants me to do, like, touch her hand, sit on my bottom, or lay down. 

We all get so much exercise and sleep a lot after our DIPs. Mama Rachel tells me and the rest of our family that we listen so much better after we play with friends and practice our manners. 

You should come to our DIPs and see how polite I am! Text my mama Rachel and she will help! 

Have a question you want me to answer? Send it to us and I will add it to our list.