You've done your homework and decided the bouncy, intelligent, affectionate Aussiedoodle would be a good fit for your family's lifestyle. A cross between the Australian shepherd and poodle, the Aussiedoodle combines the best traits of both breeds into an ideal companion for you and your active family. However, simply choosing the perfect puppy does not mean you will have the expected perfect adult when it matures. Early socialization training is the primary factor that will ensure you end up with the companion you're hoping for. Here's what you need to know to turn your new furry family member into a well-behaved, well-adjusted pet.

The Importance of Early Socialization

The most critical period of your new puppy's behavioral development is the first six weeks in its new home. It is discovering a brand-new world, and without your guidance, will not know how to react appropriately to it. Chewing, biting, barking, and jumping up on people are natural tendencies, and it's up to you and your family to curb those tendencies with proper socialization. Otherwise, a year from now you will have a full-grown dog that chews your slippers, barks when not appropriate, is wary or aggressive to other people and pets, or exuberantly jumps on them. And those behaviors often result in a one-way trip to the local animal shelter. 

Socialization Tips and Techniques

Socialization should begin the moment you bring your puppy home. However, be patient and don't overwhelm it with too much all at once. And above all, keep in mind socialization is never about punishment. Spanking or yelling at a young puppy just learning to navigate the world are not appropriate socialization techniques. You will end up with a timid or aggressive dog. You will get the results you want by praising and rewarding the behavior you desire. Here are a few tips to get you and your pup started on the right track:

  • Introduce your puppy to as many new people and pets as possible, but not all at once. Invite one or two friends over to greet your new addition. Have them sit down next to your puppy and talk, pet, or even gently play in a non-threatening manner. This will inspire friendliness and confidence. Make dog meetings one-to-one so it's not overwhelming.  
  • Resource guarding is not okay. Many dogs growl or snap when you approach too close to their food or toys. Practice removing the food or toy and reward your pup with a treat when it doesn't react and return the item. A simple "No" and no reward will suffice when it doesn't behave as desired.
  • Get your puppy used to being alone for short periods of time and gradually lengthen the time away. Control the away period in a way that someone can give a mild reprimand if it barks or destroys things. Reward it when you return.
  • Bring your puppy with you when you go in the car. Drive through different neighborhoods or environments where it can smell, hear, and see different animals and landscapes.
  • Stand outside a store where it will attract attention from people entering. They will likely stop and want to pet it. Let them, as long as they don't do so in a threatening or overbearing manner.

It's important not to force your new pup into situations that cause anxiety. Be patient, coax it soothingly, and always reward proper behavior. Before long, you will have a well-behaved adolescent, on its way to becoming the grown Aussiedoodle that you're dreaming of. Contact breeders who have Aussiedoodle puppies for sale to learn more.