When you get a new puppy, there are some little things to know. Puppies are easily adaptable to the new environment with little effort. Training a puppy how to socialize is a task need to be well done. Proper socialization of puppy is very important to get a confident and well-adjusted dog for life. It can be considered as the most crucial job of new parents of the puppy (American Kennel Club).
What does it mean to socialize your puppy?
When we talk about new puppies, we should provide them with opportunities. If a puppy does not get lots of opportunities for proper interaction with other dogs, people, and different situations, then the puppy will not be able to learn proper socialization and will not be confident and happy enough (Whole Dog Journal).
Interestingly, puppies have a period of 8 to 16 weeks of age when they learn important behavioral sweet spots. It is a critical period in which your dog can learn impressions and attitudes about the things that are acceptable and normal. This period becomes the foundation for the rest of the life of your puppy (Whole Dog Journal).
Previously, the experts did not talk about the importance of puppy socializing. But now, it is considered as an important issue. So make sure you socialize your dog
- to play with the puppies next door,
- To have good relations with your friends, family, and girlfriend,
- does not get anxious in public gatherings, and
- Know the difference between normal situations and dangerous situations.
Remember not to expose your puppy the world in a way that emphasizes dangers more as compared to delights.
When to Socialize Your Puppy?
Everything has a time, so does the puppy socialization training. It is a period between 7 weeks of age to 4 months that your puppy learns socialization. This period is crucial for shaping the lifetime behaviors of your puppy. Another important thing you should know is when you buy your puppy from a responsible breeder, then the period may start early, so try to start its training a little earlier.
Handle your puppy gently so that it develops into a friendly and confident dog. Your puppy will start recognizing you as early as 3 years of age. So make use of this time efficiently (American Kennel Club).
Why do we need to socialize our Puppy?
Puppy socialization is important due to the following reasons
- To help your puppy get positively acclimated to the environment.
- To prevent your puppy from being fearful of children or riding a car
- To help your puppy grow into a well-mannered and happy adult companion
If your dog is well adjusted to the environment, it can even save its life one day. If your dog is well socialized, then it will be easier for him to accept new places and people if it gets lost (American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior).
7 Ways to Socialize Your Puppy
Here we will tell you some ways to help your dog in easy socialization:
- Daily Walks
- Expose to people and the environment
- Remember crucial time
- Dog Classes
- Dog Park
- Be Cautious
Let’s learn these ways respectively
1. Daily walks
Make your dog comfortable with you as well as the environment around by taking him to daily walks. These daily walks will help your dog to acclimatize with the world and people around him. When you take him to walk, he will get familiar with driving cars, mailman, children around and much more. Another interesting thing about the socialization of dogs is to take him on different routes while walking, this will give him a chance to make new friends and enjoy new sights (The Dog People).
2. Expose to People and Environment
If you take care of your dog all alone, your dog may turn into an adult who is uncomfortable with any other person. So to make him acclimated to different people, men, women, and children, you should let it hang out with different people. Let your dog meet and greet with people around. There are different ways in which you can do it.
- First of all, if your dog gets scared, you should stay calm and ignore his behaviors. Initially, your dog might get scared of people around before it gets socialized.
- Make sure that when different people pet your puppy, it can see their hands.
- When your dog makes a positive association with people and gets acclimatized to a particular environment, give him a treat
- Be regular about these tasks, so your dog can get more and more confident with time
Another thing you can do is hire a pet sitter to take care of your dog, so it may get exposure to different people taking his care (Preventive Vet).
3. Remember Crucial Time
Expose your puppy to new people, new dresses, unrecognizable situations, vehicles, cats and much more during 7 weeks to 16 weeks of age, which is the crucial period of sweet spot a puppy (The Spruce Pets).
When Can I Introduce My Puppy to Other Dogs?
When your puppy has started learning about socialization and different situations, let him interact with other dogs of the colony and let him play with them. This will not only enhance its socializing but will also make him delighted with new kinds of games. If your dog becomes older than 18 weeks, it would be difficult for him to learn new behaviors of socialization (The Spruce Pets).
4. Dog Classes
Puppy kindergarten is a thing and is for your dog to learn. You can also take the help of your puppy’s vet by asking him socializing opportunities for your dog. In the dog training classes, your dog will meet other dogs and will make friends. It will be a controlled environment, so you do not have to worry about the safety of your baby (Pets Web MD).
Every time your dog shows good behavior, treat him. Remember your dog can literally do anything for treats. So with best behaviors, comes the best treats. When your dog successfully interacts with another person or a dog, give them a treat. Treat enhances social behavior. So keep a stock of tasty and high value treats with you. You better know what your dog likes the most. But do not let him get calorie overdosed (The Spruce Pets).
6. Dog Park
Take your dog to dog parks. Your friend will look around and will interact with dogs around to become more confident and friendly. Make rounds in the park regularly so that your partner can roam around freely. Another way to enhance its interaction with its friends is by setting a play date at your friend so that your dog might play with their dog. Let your dog interact with dogs in the community and have friends to play with. Take him to groceries for getting his needs done (American Kennel Club).
7. Be Cautious
Yes, you have a cute little puppy, which is your lifeline, so when you are taking it anywhere, be cautious.
Be cautious when you introduce your beloved puppy to a giant dog.
- Make sure that when you are introducing the puppy to other dogs, they are friendly.
- If your puppy feels discomfort while making new connections with dogs, take him away.
For successful interaction of your puppy with the dogs of community, be vigilant and remember to act according to your dog’s needs.
You can’t socialize your puppy in one day. It might need two months, where you can make your dog social. So take baby steps and reach the final goal. Help your dog meet new people and dogs in parks, during walks, and doing groceries. Take your dog to dog classes for better learning. And above all, treat him. A little treat can do wonders, you and I might not understand, but our puppy will. Also, be cautious of your puppy’s instinct. If he is uncomfortable around a big dog, take him away. Your dog will learn all kinds of social behaviors and will turn into an adorable pet for life.