Puppy Socialization is the Most Important and Critical Period
Do You Know Why?
Puppy socializing and training is so critical for the development
of any young dog. What you do and do not do right at this young age will affect your dog's
behavior forever. Un-socialized dogs become untrustworthy and
fear-biters because they don't adapt to new situations. This article
from Westwood Animal hospital offers socialization tips for puppies and is an excellent read.
Teach your fuzzy friend to become a well adjusted adult dog. A puppy needs to learn how to act properly around people, including children, and other animals to become the perfect puppy. Don't wait... begin early!
Some DO's and DON'Ts for Socializing Your Puppy or Dog
- DO take for short rides in the car.
- DO encourage puppy to explore and investigate different places.
- DO invite friends over. Include men, children, women, and people from different ethnic backgrounds.
- DO take puppy to the homes of other healthy, vaccinated pets. This teaches how to get along with other animals.
- DO take puppy to places where there are crowds: shopping centers, school playgrounds are great places to socialize.
- DO introduce rooms and stairways of your home. Let puppy investigate the different areas.
- DO take your little one to the petshop with you. This is a great place to meet and socialize with other people and dogs.
- DO introduce puppy to different sounds and smells.
- DO introduce your little one to pet-friendly cats.
- DO accustom puppy to being groomed: nail clipping, baths, brush, and comb.
- DO take your puppy to the veternarian on unscheduled visits.
- DO begin early!
SOCIALIZATION DO NOT's:
- DO NOT take puppy to areas where unknown animals or dogs have been until immunized.
- DO NOT reward fearful behavior. These are normal signs of apprehension when confronting something new. We often sooth to calm, unintentionally rewarding fearful behavior.
- DO NOT allow experiences to be harmful, painful, or freightening. This can cause lifetime phobias.
- DO NOT rush or force puppy - allow discovery at their own pace. Your job is to present the opportunity.
- DO NOT do too much at one time. It is more productive to have frequent exposures, than prolonged exposures. Puppies need lots of sleep and tire easily.
When Can You Begin To Socialize Your Puppy?
You can begin to socialize and expose your puppy at three months of age. Continue socializing to refine those social skills. It is easiest to begin socializing your furry friend before 3 months of age.
Introducing your puppy to all kinds of new experiences teaches him (or her) to become well adjusted and comfortable with its environment in positive ways. Your responsibility is to keep those experiences positive and enjoy watching your puppy make all those new discoveries safely!