Small group classes run by experienced obedience instructors are great for both socialisation and learning. Your dog will learn to socialise better with other dogs and new people in controlled situations, which can help if your dog is timid or aggressive.
Once your dog has completed basic obedience training you'll have a set of commands you can use in difficult situations. Kingston has many off leash exercise areas for you to practise, train and play. Kevin Hayes Reserve in Mordialloc (Melways ref 87 G12) has been fitted out with a dog obedience course, which makes it an ideal area to practise training commands.
Just like young children, puppies need opportunities to learn appropriate behaviours and social skills. The period between 4 and 16 weeks is the most important time for socialisation with people outside a dog's immediate contacts and environment. A lack of socialisation in this early period can lead to behaviour problems later in life including timidness, fearfulness and aggression towards unfamiliar dogs or people.
Due to the risk of infectious diseases, puppies should be socialised in safe, controlled environments and vaccinated. Puppy socialisation groups at vet clinics are an excellent way to socialise your pet. Socialisation must continue throughout the puppy’s growth and adult dogs require social activity as well. The City of Kingston have free eBooks on dog socialisation available for download here.