Keep in mind that Alice is


Keep in mind that Alice is still a puppy. Puppy playstyles differ from dog to dog. Some look aggressive, some are fearful, and some just don’t care. Some dogs, even if they are the same size, may not tolerate a puppy’s antics. Just like a lot of older kids do not like to play with younger kids. Energy level and size only play a small portion into how dogs interact.

One way to learn why your puppy is doing what she is doing is to enroll Alice in a puppy class. Play sessions in puppy classes offer a wonderfully precise diagnostic tool for assessing the success of each puppy’s ongoing socialization and its developing temperament. With a puppy class (and not one at a pet store), the qualified trainers will find it easy to determine the level of confidence in your puppy and all the others in the class. They will also be able to spot aggressive and fearful pups, bullies and wimps and to recommend immediate remedial socialization. Alice may not be at an age to enroll yet, but call around and see what is available for her. She will need to have all her vaccinations first before she is allowed into a class.

In order for the pups to become and remain fully socialized, puppies, adolescents and adult dogs must continue to meet and play with unfamiliar dogs of different ages. There is no socialization exercise that surpasses a good old dog walk to play with some other dogs, but you have to start somewhere, and the puppy class is a good way to start. You will get some direction in what Alice is doing and what her best playmates should be at this time in her life.

Even if you cannot enroll her in a class yet, that doesn’t mean that socialization should be held off. One thing to think about is that puppy play sessions should be temporarily interrupted every 15 seconds or so. That allows the dogs to calm down, and reign in their “emotions”. At the very least, all the dog owners should take their dog by the collar and wait for them to sit and acknowledge their owner before providing a treat. Then you can allow play to resume once more. In this fashion, the instruction “Go Play” rewards the puppy for sitting calmly and paying attention to his owner. Play then becomes the reward in training.