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Importance Of Puppy Socialization
09/23/15 at 01:33 PM | Published Under Pet Socialization
There’s nothing quite as powerful as a first impression, and the same holds true with socialization. Early socialization is the best way to ingrain a sense of confidence during interactions with various environments. Socializing an adult dog is quite different than socializing a puppy. Dogs are the most sensitive between 3-20 weeks, when they are generally accepting of new places, people and other dogs.
What is the best way to socialize your dog? Simply expose your puppy to new things every day while rewarding him with tasty dog treats to make each interaction a happy one. This helps the puppy to retain those happy impressions even after the sensitive period of socialization ends at roughly 4-5 months. To keep the process on track, be sure to provide continued stimulation through the first year.
Here are a few steps for socializing a puppy that’s not yet fully vaccinated:
- Hang with your pup on a mat or goDog™ BedZzz™ at the entrance of a busy mall. Wanting to pet your dog, strangers will flock to you. Bring treats to allow strangers to reward his interaction with them.
- Invite friends and family over to your home for a puppy party. Toss streamers, play music and pass your pup around to others.
- Arrange play dates with other puppies and adult dogs that you know are healthy and friendly.
- Take your puppy through different neighborhoods, car washes, drive-through eateries, and into rural areas where it will see and smell a variety of farm animals.
- If your puppy is small enough, carry him around town in a pet carrier or tote such as the Sherpa® Metropolitan Tote, and allow strangers to pet and provide him with treats.
Be sure to use dog treats can be broken into tiny morsels. These tiny dog treats provide just enough stimulation while preventing stomach discomfort or too many calories.
Socialization is essential for helping your puppy develop into a fun, well adjusted and loyal companion. Most people want a pet that plays well with dogs, is relaxed with humans and adapts well to new experiences. While some canines are born with genetic predispositions making this difficult, most can learn to take everything in stride when socialized at a young age. Socialization provides your pet the best chance possible to develop into a pet comfortable in his environment and with you as his pet parent.