Time is flying and so is the age of my ViaGen Pets puppies, whom I refer to as “The Others”! Can you believe they are already 5 ½ months old?! On one paw, time has flown and I can’t believe it has been 5 months and on the other paw, they are so smart and such good boys that I can’t believe they have only been on this earth for 5 months. Funny how that works!
The Others are finally finished with their puppy vaccines!! Thank goodness. That seemed to take forever! Unlike some puppies, I decided to go extra slow with their vaccine schedule. Bruce Wayne has unfavorable reactions to vaccines, so since these puppies are extra special and I knew how Bruce Wayne reacts, I took the slow and steady approach. And, I actually didn’t even get their Lyme vaccine yet. I’m waiting until they are a bit bigger and older before I give them that vaccine if I even do. We do not live in a heavily wooded area, nor do we hike often. I know that ticks are now in areas without a lot of trees, but anytime we go on long walks, I have both Wondercide and Bridle and Bone’s natural tick spray to help ward off any ticks. Vaccinating your dog is every pet parent’s decision and should be discussed with your Veterinarian.
With all that being said, The Others visited their FIRST dog park! We went to a local one, the Ma & Pa Trail, here in Bel Air, Maryland. What I like about this dog park is that there are 3 parks in total. The first park is for small dogs. Obviously, if there are no small dogs, the other dog parents have the option to opening it up for their larger dogs. When we arrived, the large dogs were running through all 3 parks, however, their parents were so kind and more than willing to happily close it off for our small pack. Once sectioned off, it was my pack of 5 and 2 -3 other small to medium sized dogs.
First, Bruce Wayne hates dog parks. He is my little antisocial Chihuahua. Despite my efforts to socialize him when he was younger, he just never enjoyed social settings with other dogs. I have to be careful with Bruce Wayne, as it’s not just that he doesn’t like it, but he actually starts drooling in response to the stress from socializing. Needless to say, he didn’t really run or even move around the dog park. He either followed me or stood still watching over The Others.
The Others on the other hand did fairly well. They certainly have Bruce Wayne’s DNA, as they too were a bit nervous and antisocial. A few of them even drooled like Bruce Wayne. Peter Parker was by far the most timid and opted to hang out near his carrier and Bruce Wayne’s bag most of the time. Clark Kent, who is also the biggest of the pups, was the most outgoing. After a while, all of the pups, minus Peter Parker, at least walked around the dog park and even jogged a little.
Since their first trip, I tried taking them to Petco’s Puppy Play Date. This is a event that Petco does every weekend. They designate a time slot during the weekend where you can bring your puppy, up to 6 months of age, to play in their training center for socialization. While this is a great way to socialize your puppy, not to mention it is a free event, The Others hated it! All the puppies at the event were actually very large puppies. Besides The Others, the next smallest puppy had to be at least 35 pounds. It was to overwhelming for The Others, whom ran and hid under the bench to escape the other dogs. While I strive to socialize The Others, I do not want to frighten or stress them, so with that, we left.
Being that it was a nice day out, we headed back to the Ma & Pa Trail Dog Park. This time, The Others had the small dog park side to themselves, which they very much enjoyed. All The Others ran and played. Bruce Wayne even trotted a bit! 😉 While I was disappointed that there weren’t any other small dogs in the park for them to socialize with, I was happy that they came out of their shell and explored the park a bit more. Hopefully, since they actually had fun running around the dog park, next time, if there are other small dogs in there, The Others will feel more comfortable interacting.
How did you socialize your dog(s)? I’d love to know what worked for you and your dog. I’m always looking for fun and stress-free ways to socialize The Others more! 🙂