How to Socialize Your Puppy and Why It’s So Important
Puppies learn what is acceptable behavior in the outdoors through a process called socialization. Although the socialization period lasts until the puppy is 18 weeks old, the best time to socialize a puppy is between the ages of 2 and 12 weeks.
During this time, your puppy should experience as many different sights, sounds, smells, and textures as possible. After this time has passed, you can continue socializing your puppy, but it will take longer because your puppy will likely be more nervous about new people, animals, and situations.
If your puppy is over 12 weeks old and hasn’t had much early socialization, you should still use the same socialization training techniques you would with a younger puppy, but give yourself more time, treats, patience, and repetitions.
In order to expose your dog to as many new sights, sounds, scents, and textures as possible, it’s a good idea to make notes about as many places as you can.
Introduce your puppy to at least one of these places every day and keep taking them back until they are completely comfortable there.
In order to socialize your puppy, you can expose it to things like:
- Scary things like vaccinations and worming aren’t the only reasons to visit the vet.
- The entrances of supermarkets see a diverse crowd, automobiles, shopping carts, and other vehicles.
- Walking a dog on a leash alongside a busy road can be challenging if the dog has not been socialized to the sounds and sights of traffic from a young age.
- In the open air, at various times of day and in a variety of climates:
Your dog may also be confused by the sight, smell, and sound of common weather-related human accessories like coats, hoods, umbrellas, and wet-weather gear, as well as the wind, rain, night, and day.
- Children rushing, yelling, and approaching you at the playground’s entrances.
- Try to get a CD with fireworks on it and run it softly in the background as you get ready for bed..
- The Groomers: Your groomer would appreciate it if you bring your puppy in early so it can become used to the salon’s environment.
- Houses of close friends: In order for your puppy to engage with other dogs, they must have dogs who are healthy, vaccinated, and socialized. Read more here: How to Train Your Dog: 7 Reasons Why You Should Do It Yourself
…And the examples go on…
Your dog’s happiness and socialization levels will increase the more environments you can introduce him to. It’s important to create positive and safe connections for your dog at every location you go to.
Take some goodies with you and approach others, asking them to feed your puppy from their hands and give it a little tickle under the chin. The more diverse the group, the better; this includes individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and comfort levels around dogs.
Provide your dog with lots of loving physical attention. Keep an eye out for indications of discomfort, such as your puppy’s tail tucking between his knees, his ears pricking back, his tongue flicking rapidly and briefly, his lips closing, and his or her eyes becoming white.
If you see this, gently pat your puppy to calm them, and if necessary, go to a more peaceful location until your dog has calmed down.
Your dog may have a phobia if you give in to its anxiety and avoid the source ofsstress, even if you know he would benefit from exposure therapy.
On the other hand, if you entirely disregard your puppy’s sorrow, it is possible that they would associate the incident with bad emotions and avoid it in the future.
The more environments you take your puppy to and ingrain a sense of security in him or her, the better; this teaches your puppy not only that these locations are secure, but also that new scenarios may rapidly become rewarding environments in which puppy obtains what he or she wants or needs. This will provide your dog “resilience.”
Try to Make Dog Socialization as Positive as You Can:
Put out all of your efforts to ensure that your socialization experience is a pleasant one. Use whatever it is that your puppy like. Take a ball with you and use it to keep him occupied if he’s like that sort of thing.
Take quantities of dried liver with you if she has a penchant for it. If they enjoy chewing, bring one along so that they may munch away as they watch the world go by.
Consult your veterinarian before beginning any sort of socialization programme. You should keep your new puppy away from any dogs who haven’t been vaccinated or are sick, as well as any grass or dirt that they may have defecated on.
In some cases, this may necessitate that you transport your puppy while you are out and about.
If your vet insists that you wait until your puppy is 12 weeks old before taking it outside, you may want to get a second opinion.
These days, the vast majority of veterinarians understand the importance of socialisation alongside the vaccination schedule and can advise you on the best way to accomplish both.
Celebrations with Puppies!
Healthy pups who are in the midst of their immunization courses are able to safely interact and play with each other, and veterinarians or vet nurses discuss the best method to care for your puppy’s health.
If you can, choose a puppy party where a professional dog trainer will also be present to answer any concerns you may have about training your new addition.
Classes for Training Puppies:
Don’t assume you’ve got a free pass after the initial 12 weeks of socialization; instead, use that opportunity to read up on your local puppy training options.
Look for one that is led by a professional dog trainer who is a member of the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers (IMDT) or the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and that emphasises only positive reinforcement techniques. Your well-adjusted, socialized puppy will benefit greatly from these sessions.
The Problem of Older Dogs:
All this talk about how crucial puppy socialization is raises this crucial question:
What about older dogs?
Though you may have missed the boat on the critical puppy socialization stage, it is not too late to assist your newly adopted adult dog learn to link new or scary circumstances with pleasant memories.
A dog’s anxiety or reluctance can be alleviated by gradually exposing them to novel sights, scents, and noises under close supervision and with a focus on positive reinforcement, such as praise and rewards. (A vet or animal behaviorist may be helpful for particularly anxious pets.)
Training your puppy as soon as possible will pay off in spades down the road. In the end, all that labor will pay off when your wild puppy matures into a well-behaved, happy, and loving dog.
Do your homework to pick a positive training class for your dog and you’ll both love it. Puppy training courses are a great way to keep up the extra effort you will have put in your puppy by following the suggestions in this article.