Training for a friendly dog is crucial for all dog owners. But, it can’t happen at just any time. There’s a window with regards to the puppy socialization period. So, don’t miss it!
Each dog goes through a critical period of development during where they are very sensitive to everything in their environment.
What is the Puppy Socialization Window?
During this time — from a few weeks old to three or four months old — the quantity and frequency of positive interactions with other people and dogs will impact his behavior as an adult.
If you plan on getting a puppy, try to find one brought up with people. You can then start to introduce your dog to more people once they come home with you, in the puppy socialization window.
The catch is that, during the time that your pup needs to be socialized, it is still very young and vulnerable to catching dog diseases. That’s why puppies are often kept away from public areas.
What you can do is invite people and other dogs into your space to allow your puppy to practice interacting.
The best way to socialize a puppy is to :
- Introduce the puppy to many types of people.
- Let your puppy interact with calm people who are comfortable around dogs.
- Let your puppy interact with some people who may be a bit scare of dogs or simply not used to them.
- You also want to socialize a puppy with children and adults of all ages and genders.
- Change up the people you bring to interact with your dog as much as you can.
While it’s good to have your close circle bond with your pup, limiting the puppy’s interactions won’t help them learn how to behave with unfamiliar people. Think of it as an excuse to invite everyone you know over to your place!
How to Guide to Socializing a Puppy
You can enhance the learning experience for your puppy easily.
Simply ask your guests, the children included, to:
- Feed the puppy by hand
- Practice simple commands
- Spend quality time petting and playing the dog.
This will help your puppy get comfortable with being handled. Each time your puppy is rewarded with a treat, they will start to think that humans are great to be around.
If it’s possible, it’s ideal to add a puppy party into the mix. If you have acquaintances with vaccinated puppies or older dogs, ask them to come over three times a week. Even once a week is better than nothing, as it will make a big difference in your puppy’s social skills.
Get your puppy outside so it becomes habituated with the various sights and sounds.
Even if your pup is still too young to walk around in public areas, you can bring them out in a carrier to experience all the smells. All positive exposure your puppy gets to people, dogs, and places will be helpful in the long run.
There are even puppy socialization classes to take advantage of if you don’t have other alternatives. These classes are run by experts, so they are a good option.
But, don’t delay because there the puppy socialization period is short.