Why is Socializing Puppies So Important?
Well Socialized Puppies Become Well Adjusted Dogs
So you have a new puppy in your home…how fun! This puppy will grow to be a very much enjoyed and loved part of your family. You will want your puppy to become a calm well adjusted dog that other people and dogs will enjoy as much as you do.
This is an aspect of your puppy’s life that doesn’t always come naturally. That is why it’s so important to socialize your puppy so he/she will fit into and feel comfortable in the world in which they now live.
Most young puppies adapt easily to the life that surrounds them…the people, the other animals, the sounds and the sights. At first, usually between 3-12 weeks of age, they naturally feel comfortable with all these things, but as they begin to grow older, they also begin to be a little more questioning, fearful, even suspicious, of new things that are introduced into their life.
When to begin socializing your puppy.
Because their natural adaptability doesn’t last a long period of time, it’s important to begin their socialization training as early as possible. You’ve all heard the saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” – in a sense, that holds true with puppies to a degree. After the age of 12 weeks, it becomes more and more difficult for them to become socialized, and by the age of about 18 weeks it can be nearly impossible.
Without a plan for socializing, your puppy could grow into a shy, skittish or even aggressive dog, one who doesn’t respond well to change or strangers. I’m sure this wasn’t part of the plan of bringing a puppy into your home and life.
Tips for socializing your new “best friend”
Consistently expose your puppy to new situations, things, people and animals, keep a checklist of when and what they have been exposed to, to help you through the process:
- Babies and small children
- People in uniform such as police officers and mailmen
- Birds and fish
- Groups of people, adults and/or children
- Singing, clapping
- Noises such as vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers and other household appliances
- Mother Nature – rain, wind, snow
- Other dogs, pets and animals
- Kids on bikes, skateboards and roller skates
- People in wheelchairs or who use walkers
- CARS – moving and noisy
- Take your puppy for walks during the day and the night
- Take your puppy places with you, if they are feeling nervous, it may be a good idea to take them in your arms
These things may seem very basic to you, and the list could go on and on, but to your puppy it can be overwhelming. I think you get the idea that introducing your puppy to the world he lives in will help him to become more comfortable and adjusted.
Socialization of a puppy doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time and patience…don’t try to introduce them to everything in an afternoon, do it gradually and continuously. Most new dog owners could use some help with this training, so finding a puppy socialization class is a great idea.
At BowWow Fun Towne we are holding Puppy Social Hour Starting Feb 1st for puppies 8 weeks to 9 months from 11 a.m. to noon.
Give your new puppy and yourself the gift of a well adjusted, happy dog by making it a priority to spend the necessary amount of time and effort to socialize him properly.