Join Austin Dog Trainer's Free Puppy Class, and you'll hear us explain that exposure does not equal socialization. At least it doesn't equal good socialization. Present your puppy with new experiences, people and places in a low pressure way, pair new things with food, praise, and petting, and let your puppy move at his own pace. By doing so, you're providing your puppy with an opportunity to experience new things in a positive way.
Here are a few tips specific to introduing your pup to new people:
1. Allow your puppy to approach the new person rather than the person approaching your pup.
2. Food makes most things better for puppies, so have new people who interest your pup feed a few tasy tidbits.
3. Scary things are less scary from a greater distance. If your pup is overwhelmed, take a few steps back.
4. Accustom your pup to some of the more challenging "people" that you'll encounter by creating them in a safe environment. A few things you can simulate, an altered sillhouette (carrying a large purse or boxes), hats, sunglasses, altered gait (crutches, cane, or a walker can alter gait, for example,) facial hair, and uniforms.
Remember, new people, places, and things are stressful enough for puppies, so keep it upbeat, positive, and as low pressure as possible! Questions? Join our Austin Puppy Class!