The secret to having a content, self-assured, and well-adjusted dog is socializing your puppy. A puppy will develop into a smarter, healthier, and more self-assured child when he is positively exposed to new sights and sounds.
In other words, he’ll handle commonplace situations like hearing a garbage truck and climbing steep stairs without complaining. For your puppy’s development, the first three months of life are crucial. We’ll talk about puppy socialization in this article. Please keep reading.
Why Should You Socialize Your Puppy?
To help your puppy become accustomed to all kinds of sights, sounds, and smells in a positive way, you want to help them socialize. A dog can be prevented from being afraid of things like kids or riding in a car through proper socialization. It will assist them in becoming polite, joyful companions.
A confident, well-adjusted dog may even one day save their life. Inadequate socialization can result in behavior issues later in life, claims the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior.
According to the group’s socialization position statement: “Dogs under three years of age die most frequently from behavioral problems, not infectious diseases.”
Your dog will learn how to behave in a variety of situations and to enjoy interacting with different people if you start taking them out in public once your vet says it is safe to do so.
When Should You Socialize Your Puppy?
Whether you should socialize your puppy before they have received all of their vaccinations is a topic of discussion.
However, between the ages of 3 and 12 weeks, puppies are most adaptable to new situations. After that point, they start to be cautious when it comes to unfamiliar new things.
Puppy socialization classes can start as early as 7 to 8 weeks. Seven days before socialization and the initial deworming, veterinarians advise at least one round of vaccinations.
Continued socialization and acclimatization to new environments are crucial after your puppy has lived for 12 to 14 weeks. Positive behavior is encouraged by this. It’s crucial to maintain a happy atmosphere for puppies so they can feel safe and secure while learning new things.
How To Socialize Your Puppy?
Your breeder will begin the process of socialization, as was already mentioned. Your task is to continue the process once you bring the puppy home. Following are some simple steps:
Introduce The Puppy To New Sights, Sounds, And Smells
Consider every experience you have with a puppy as an opportunity to create a new, positive association because to them, the entire world is novel, strange, and unusual. Expose your puppy to as many various types of people, places, sounds, and textures as you can.
This entails, for example, putting them in situations where they must navigate carpet, hardwood, tile, and linoleum floors, interact with both young and old people, people in wheelchairs or using canes, people with beards, people sporting sunglasses or hoods, and people holding umbrellas.
Make It Positive
Above all else, make sure your puppy is receiving the right amount of treats and praise as you introduce them to all of these novel situations. The pet will consequently connect what they are being exposed to with the notion that seeing something new is enjoyable.
Treats should be broken up into small pieces so that your puppy can easily digest them. Additionally, try to maintain your composure—dogs are able to read our emotions.
Therefore, if you are anxious when, for instance, introducing your puppy to an older dog, your pet will also be anxious and may later develop a fear of other dogs.
Involve The Family
You continuously push the puppy out of its comfort zone by having various people participate in the socialization process. That signals to the dog that they might encounter something novel regardless of who they are with.
Make it a fun game for kids by asking them to make a list of all the new things the puppy saw or heard while they were with it, such as “someone in a baseball cap” or “a police siren.”
Take Baby Steps
Avoid taking on too much at once. If you want your puppy to become accustomed to being handled by a number of strangers, for instance, start with a small number of family members and gradually add one more, then two, and so on.
Going to a large party or a busy public place to start this process can be overwhelming for your puppy and cause him or her to become fearful of crowds of people in the future.
Take It Public
When your puppy has grown accustomed to a modest amount of stimulation, push him beyond his comfort zone and expose him to a wider variety of novel situations.
Take them to the pet store (once their series of vaccinations has begun), to a friend’s house for a doggie playdate, on various streets in the neighborhood, and so on.
You can safely take the dog to the dog park 7 to 10 days after the dog has received their complete series of puppy vaccinations (but make sure to follow dog-park safety protocol).)
Go To Puppy Classes
Your puppy can enroll in puppy classes once its vaccinations have begun. In addition to introducing your pet to other dogs and people, these classes also assist in helping them start to understand simple commands.
In order to ensure everyone’s safety and satisfaction throughout the process, knowledgeable trainers will mediate the meetings. Local AKC dog training clubs and facilities may offer puppy classes.
What Should I Do If During Socialization My Puppy Seems Terrified?
When socializing, take your puppy out of the situation if they exhibit any signs of stress or fear. Your puppy will learn how to handle the situation by being introduced to various stimulants gradually.
You might want to seek a veterinarian’s advice if your puppy exhibits fear in any circumstance, even in calm, well-controlled situations.
Read More: The Complete Puppy Socialization Guide