We strongly advocate for positive-reinforcement training methods, and have had great success with the clicker training method. We know, we know. You know how to train a dog because you have always had dogs. We were there too.
Know what though? Those old methods just did not work as well as we would have liked. Is it easy to get your dog to come to you when it is time to leave the park? Yeah, it wasnʻt for us either. We were ready to try something new.
Several breeders we knew recommended positive reinforcement, and it ended up working better than anything we had tried before.
A good dog starts with a well-socialized dog. A puppy that has never met another dog since its litter-mates may panic when you first bring him to the park after his final parvovirus shots at 14-16 weeks. This is because the most critically important time for socialization is before 14 weeks. But you will be told that before then, he is at risk of getting very ill or dying from infection.
A good balance is to find puppy socialization classes or to set up puppy playdates with other healthy puppies of the same age. Also, invite over the whole Ohana to play with your puppy. Meeting all kinds of people, young and old will make your dog less likely to react with anxiety to a new person.
Sadly, a dog is much more likely to die from being put down due to poor socialization than to die from parvovirus. But donʻt take your puppy to the park until the vaccination series is complete.
Here is the AKCʻs take on this: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/puppy-socialization-risk-of-disease/
And the opinion of several veterinarians here: http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/early-puppy-socialization-classes-weighing-risks-vs-benefits
In our home, your puppy will be raised along with all the normal household noises: kids, skateboards, vacuum cleaners, etc. will all be part of daily life and so not something to be feared. Keep this up at home. Toss treats to your puppy every time there is a loud or new noise.
Hula LOVES fireworks because we played loud You-Tube videos of fireworks while giving her a steady stream of treats when she was a puppy.
Nothing will replace an excellent positive reinforcement class which combines ongoing socialization with learning how to teach your dog how to communicate with you and what you expect of him. Every good trainer will say these classes are mostly about training the puppyʻs parents.
Still, reading a book or two on the theory of positive dog training will give you a head start and keep you from developing bad habits early on.
<a target="_blank" href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470241845/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0470241845&linkCode=as2&tag=ponolabradood-20&linkId=3259928dfb45363d1be1706ade6f0fee"><img border="0" src="//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=0470241845&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format=_SL250_&tag=ponolabradood-20" ></a><img src="//ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=ponolabradood-20&l=am2&o=1&a=0470241845" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
<a target="_blank" href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0793806445/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0793806445&linkCode=as2&tag=ponolabradood-20&linkId=05649bdf7aa9c8cea924784b5e0491ad"><img border="0" src="//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=0793806445&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format=_SL250_&tag=ponolabradood-20" ></a><img src="//ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=ponolabradood-20&l=am2&o=1&a=0793806445" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />