The puppy socialization process begins as soon as your new family member comes home. The sooner it is left to interact with people and other animals, the better it will be for everyone involved.
Puppy Socialization Tips that Last a Lifetime
It’s important to make sure that your puppy, whether it’s a Maltese or a German Shepherd, has a positive experience once you start the puppy socialization process, and ask a variety of people to your home to meet him.
Your visitors should pet your dog quietly and in a calm environment. If your puppy is outgoing and friendly, and appears to be confident, it’s acceptable to offer praise.
Be upbeat yourself and use a friendly and clear voice to talk to your puppy, rather than coddle him, if he seems afraid of all this attention.
A good puppy socialization experience for a young dog is to be taken to the vet for a check up, an environment with plenty of other people and dogs.
Reassure your puppy that there really isn’t anything to fear at the vet’s office, by adopting a cheerful and bright voice, rather than coddling your dog.
Doggie Play Dates
Another effective way to work on socializing your puppy is to invite a family member or friend and their dog over to your home for a play date.
However, your puppy can easily become anxious or overwhelmed so it’s important to supervise the proceedings closely. Your goal should be to make these socialization sessions as fun as possible, rather than something to be afraid of or nervous about.
As a general rule, you are usually able to enroll your puppy in obedience training or socialization classes once he has been given at least two shots. However, always check with the school as policies regarding shots can vary. The school may accept your puppy if he is up to date on all the required shots, while others may stipulate that all vaccinations have been given.
Your puppy can safely learn how to interact positively with other dog breeds and interact with dogs of different ages at a puppy obedience class. You can also get useful tips from professional dog trainers, and of course the class can be a great way for dog owners to make new friends too.
You can take your puppy out and about after he has had all his shots and is at least three months old. Try to introduce him to as many people, places and experiences as possible to get the most out of puppy socialization.
A Social Dog is a Confident Dog
One of your most crucial puppy care duties is socializing puppies. Unfortunately, it’s one of those responsibilities that so many owners skip over.
When you socialize your puppy, you merely help him grow more confident when he’s in social settings. As such, this should be a fun activity, not something you see as a chore.
The majority of puppies are naturally happy. These friendly little furballs want to be best friends with everyone you introduce them to. Unfortunately, this won’t last long though. Dogs are creatures of habit so as they mature they start feeling anxious, stressed and scared. This is especially true if you only introduce him to the same people, in the same environment, every day. When you put him in a new situation or introduce him to new people or animals, he’ll feel scared.
This upsets you and makes your puppy snappy and defensive when he’s outside of his comfort zone, even if you’re just taking him to the vet’s office. However, a pup familiar with different people, animals, places, and noises from a young age, will grow up happy, confident and friendly. You can then take him anywhere. That’s why puppy socialization must begin right away.
It’s All about Behavior
Timing is all important when it comes to the question of when puppy socialization should be carried out, as puppies develop and grow quickly during their first 12 months. Behaving appropriately with a group or family of dogs is just as important as teaching your puppy to interact with people when it comes to efficiently socializing puppies.
Most experts advise not to take a puppy younger than 8 weeks away from its litter mates or its mother. A puppy will learn much of his behavior from its mother. This begins once his eyes begin to open at about 2 or 3 weeks old.
Why is Puppy Socialization Important? But Safety Comes First!
A puppy will instinctively learn to be friendly, calm and sociable if his mother has those characteristics. And playing with siblings will effectively teach a puppy to understand how hard he can bite without getting into trouble or hurting.
Try to introduce your puppy to other pets, people and new places once he is between 3 and 17 weeks old. This is one of the most important periods for successful puppy socialization.
However, if your puppy hasn’t been fully vaccinated, he has a high risk of catching parvovirus or one of several other serious diseases. For this reason, make sure your puppy’s socializing occurs in a safe and healthy environment.
A safe approach is to ask other dog owners to come to your home. Use this opportunity for a puppy socialization session if you know that the dog has been immunized. Or make sure that anywhere you take them, all dogs present are vaccinated, until he’s had all his shots.