Getting a puppy used to all types of sounds, sights and smells in a positive manner is what puppy socialization is all about. A social puppy is less likely to be afraid of being with people, especially children, to get into a car, and to be around other animals. Puppy socialization is key to raising your pet to be a happy, well-mannered, and confident companion. Isolating your pet can lead to behavior problems and even health issues in the future. Latchkey Pets is here to give tips on how and when to socialize your puppy. First, what exactly is puppy socialization?
What is Puppy Socialization?
Socializing your puppy means preparing them and train them to be in social situations. Introducing them to new places, people, and animals is how socialization works. The reason Latchkey Pets recommends starting socialization at an early age is that dogs when they reach a certain age, are not as comfortable with change and new environments. While suspicion and caution are important for dogs, and humans, to have, letting your puppy outside and safely interact with others is a significant part of a healthy, happy canine.
The process of puppy socialization can begin early in a puppy’s life. Puppy socialization ages range from just a few days after being born to until their around 18 weeks of age. Puppies are the most accepting and fearless between 3 and 12 weeks old. At 18 weeks of age, socialization gets more difficult.
You may be asking what is the reason behind puppy socialization? The process helps puppies become more relaxed and peaceful. Puppies who aren’t used to different environments and animals tend to react to new experiences with fear and aggression.
Additionally, most breeders will take puppy socialization steps so that a puppy will not find its new adopted home and surroundings too strange, but is reassured that it will be well looked after. Once you bring the puppy home, the process must be continued.
How to Socialize Your Puppy
Keep in mind that puppies find the whole world a strange and new place. Introducing your pet to new sights and smells is an opportunity to make positive associations with new experiences. Expose the puppy to new places, persons, and noises and constant reassurance with your presence should help to do this without any stress. Allow the puppy to walk on different surfaces, like the bare ground, grass, tile, carpet, and others. Let the puppy get used to children, people with beards or wearing hats, those walking with canes or in wheelchairs, walking under umbrellas, and wearing sunglasses.
We know it’s impossible to show your new puppy all of the worlds before they are 18 weeks old. The more places, people, and things the new puppy encounters the better. There is a balance of new adventures with your puppy but also not overwhelming them. Keep a close eye on your pet as they are experiencing the new adventure and friends.
The key to socialization is to follow any new experiences with praise and encouragement. After a visit to the dog park or a long walk around the city, give your pet a special treat and words of affirmation. Something else to consider as a new puppy owner is puppy socialization classes near me.
Puppy Socialization Classes
Did you know that there are puppy socialization classes to help the process of bringing your new pet into this world? The classes are designed to go through all the basic puppy training as well as socialization. Leash training, play-fighting, off-leash activities, and more are included in the classes.
Furthermore, basic obedience training is often a part of puppy kindergarten as well. With that being said, even puppy playgroups near me are a great opportunity to socialize with other dogs and people. Don’t be shy and don’t be afraid to put you and your dog out there to meet new dog owners and furry friends with puppy playdates.
Puppy Socialization Checklist
A puppy socialization checklist could include the following:
- All ages of humans from babies to the elderly
- Skateboarders and cyclists
- People in uniform
- The mailmen and delivery people
- People of various ethnicities
- Loud cheering and clapping
- Other puppies and pets
- Traffic, busses, and trains
- Shiny floors
- Gravel and cement
- If possible, wind, rain, thunder, and snow
Final Thoughts on the Puppy Socialization Period
Making sure your puppy is used to all family members, has experienced dog parks and walks, and some of the other above experiences on the checklist can ensure a better life for your new pet. You want a happy, fun, and safe companion and by taking the proper steps in their early development stage, you will achieve just that. Develop healthy habits with your dog like routine walks outside and playtime during the day. If your schedule does not allow you to exercise your dog as much as they need, Latchkey Pets is here to help! Learn more about our services here, and we wish you the best of luck with puppy socialization.