Chinese Crested dogs are wonderful family companions, as well as excellent athletes. As with all dogs, but especially for the Chinese Crested breed, proper socialization throughout the dog’s life is required. With their small size, however, socialization can be tricky. Unable to spend time at the dog park or safely say hi to every pup that crosses her path, special accommodations must be made to maintain your dog’s safety.
Small Dog Play Dates
Inquire with the local pet store about any groups that meet specifically for small dog play sessions. It is unsafe for your Chinese Crested to play with larger dogs, even ones only 5 – 10 lbs heavier, but with proper supervision, playing with dogs her own size is encouraged.
Dog Walking Clubs
Dog walking clubs are a great way to socialize your pet. Since every dog is on a leash, you can choose which dogs your Chinese Crested is allow to say hello to, and which ones you would feel more comfortable avoiding. Simply coexisting in the presence of other dogs is a great way to keep up with your dog’s social needs.
Local Pet Stores
Taking your Chinese Crested with you on your next trip to the pet store will allow her to experience new sights, smells, sounds, and people in a welcoming, yet controlled, environment. Every person your dog comes across will undoubtedly want to say hi, which will give your dog good practice with strangers. Be sure to give plenty of positive reinforcement and praise for good behavior.
Obedience or Agility Classes
Ask about obedience or Agility classes at the local dog training facility. Most have special courses specifically for small breeds. Not only will these classes enhance your dog’s obedience or athletic skills, but also provide physical, mental, and social stimulation.
Local Meet ups with Chinese Crested Enthusiasts
Find the nearest local chapter of the American Kennel Club or American Chinese Crested Club (or other regional or national association) and ask about local meet ups. Oftentimes, breed enthusiasts will meet at a local park with their dogs for meet and greets.
Doggy Day Care
Unlike at the dog park, dogs at doggy day care are separated into play groups by size, energy level, and age. A professional monitors the behavior of all the dogs to make sure they are playing appropriately and not getting into trouble. Day care is a great way to socialize your dog, while also providing plenty of exercise.
Go for a hike
Letting your Chinese Crested get out of the house and explore the new sights, sounds, and smells of a nearby forest or trail helps your dog be better able to handle new situations with less stress. Just be sure to remember sunscreen!
Places to Avoid
Avoid taking your Chinese Crested dog to a dog park. Romping with other dogs more than twice their size can be extremely dangerous for toy breeds. A misplaced paw or playful nip can easily cause serious damage to their fragile bone structure.