Social Time: Sniff & Go

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If your puppy has the opportunity to interact with other puppies or dogs, practice a game called “Sniff & Go.” As a general rule, it’s not a good idea to let our puppies greet another puppy or dog on leash for longer than three seconds. To practice this, let the puppies meet, count to 3, and then disengage. Take this opportunity to look for signs of discomfort in your puppy. Do they get stiff when meeting a new puppy? Do they shrink away, tuck their tail, or try to hide behind you? Showing signs of discomfort should prompt you to have your puppy keep some space and not force them into what could be a potentially scary situation. When disengaging, make yourself as interesting as possible and use food for your puppy if needed. Practicing games like this will also help create a foundation that will be in place when we start asking our dog to perform more difficult recalls, or when we’re asking them to give us attention is distracting environments.