If you have just brought a new puppy home, congratulations! You must have been so excited about taking care of your little angel, right? But, tell me. Will you keep your pup at home until it grows up a bit older, or are you gonna let it come outside from time to time to enjoy the atmosphere? If you say yes to the second option, you’re absolutely right. Bringing your pup to the outside world is an essential part of training as well. Don’t you be surprised! Most puppies I know all along are so social and confident because their owners told me they often took the pups for a walk whenever they had free time. That’s the point of puppy socialization. Today, I’ll share with you guys what we should and shouldn’t do when getting a puppy to socialize.
Time is the key factor that affects the whole puppy socialization process.
It is said that 8 to 12 week-old is the ideal age for puppies to start discovering. What it means here is that the earlier socialization takes place, the better your pup will be when it grows up. Meanwhile, puppies older than 16 week-old if not having a chance to meet different people, different things and friends yet, will turn out to be fearful and anxious.
Actually, some people believe that they should walk their pup out only after it has taken all the necessary vaccines. Protecting it from potential threat of diseases is a good thing. However, being overprotective can ruin a puppy’s development. The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior recommends that puppies receive socialization before having done with vaccines.
What you really shouldn’t do is to wait for too long. As I mentioned above, many people tends to wait until their puppy becomes more mature. They bear in minds that maturity will make the pups know how to behave well. That’s a wrong idea. If you go past 16 weeks, things come too late for puppy socialization already.
If you decide it’s time to get your puppy outside, notice that you shouldn’t do that every single day. “Ah, I have to bring it out on a daily basis to let it be accustomed to the environment around.” That’s what many people think but it’s completely wrong. Puppies don’t have such a strong and steady mental and physical health yet to handle a bunch of noises, scents and people on the outside world. Socializing a puppy doesn’t work that way.
Place for Puppy Socialization
Deciding where to bring your puppy to is also of great importance.
When first coming home, the new scents, new space, new people and things might overwhelm your puppy. The primary step you should take is to let it be familiar with the house and the people itself. People would ask: “What if it destroy corners from corners and I have to clean up?” Well, that’s why your spending time is important. Bringing a puppy home means you have to be responsible for it. How about having a crate training with it? Crate will be the safe place to hold back your pup’s energy. Also, staying calm and cautious will help you to control any situation. When it happens to crack some of your things, don’t scold but gently put it away or in the crate, leave it alone there to calm down.
As your puppy is more used to the house, you can invite different people and well-trained and well-socialized adult dogs to play with it. Remember to give your pup some treats like food reward when it does something well. Besides, pay attention to its reactions when discovering things around. Remove stuffs that it considers dangers.
Then the next step will be socializing outside home. Take your pup to get some new experiences in new places like a local pet stores or friends’ homes and yards.
When bringing in people and other dogs to meet your puppy, get once in a time. Having to deal with a bunch of people and dogs may terrify it.
Moreover, don’t take it to crowded locations like a mall or a park yet. Your little angel is getting step by step. Rushing won’t do any help. Walking it in the late evenings when there are few people staying in the park or on the streets is ideal.
Places that may have potential threat of sickness should also be out of the list. For example, the waiting room of pet hospitals or the vaccinations. There exists danger from fearful or aggressive dogs that your little pup will find it hard to tackle. And the sickness from other dogs in such places is inevitable.
Subjects for Puppy Socialization
Well, subjects here don’t mean courses you learn at school. This is also not about what your puppy takes in training. What it means here is the people, the animals and the things that it should encounter.
The first thing to do when your pup first comes home is to introduce is to your little family. Maybe your other dogs, your cat, and your people. It’s important to tell your people to greet it with calm and smiley expressions. The energy the owners have will be transferred to their pups. So, don’t stare at it or have a grumpy look on your face.
Moreover, introducing your puppy to lots of different people will help it make further steps to socialization. Old people, young people, people of all races, etc. Encourage it by rewarding with treats sometimes for behaving well.
Remember to always release good energy. You don’t want your pup to pick up on your anger or frustration, do you?
About dogs, only invite friendly and well-behaved dog to your house, especially adult ones. Adult dogs know how to do things right. They will show calm and amicable behaviors that would help your pup be more confident.
Remove stuffs that scare your puppy. When it walks around your house, pay attention to its reactions towards different things. If there’s any sign, act immediately.
As I explained above, don’t hold bad energy. Even if you do, don’t show through facial expressions. If your puppy happens to take in those feelings, it might socialize in that exact expression.
You shouldn’t let your puppy stay close to a pack of aggressive dogs or any kind of animals. Focus on everything around before you decide to put its feet on the ground. Take notice of anything that is about to approach your little puppy to see any sign of danger.
There’s another thing is that don’t let other puppies meet yours. It’s good to socialize with others at the early age, but not with other pups. Why? As a matter of fact, puppies are not good at social skills. If they are just like yours, how can they “communicate” effectively?
Puppy Socialization Classes
If you have enough financial conditions, it’s great to take your puppy to classes with professional trainers. May I introduce to you guys, Doggy Dan, the dedicated online dog trainer? Here is one small footage of his Aukland puppy school to show you how a little puppy socializes.
In a puppy socialization class, the trainers will know what proper technique to apply. Just like in the video, Dan let the little pup deal with a bunch of bigger dogs on its own. Because in class, there will be obedient and well-socialized dogs. Basically, no danger is concerning there.
Sometimes, it’s important to step in when unwanted behaviors from other dogs are about to take place. But most of time, coming in the middle of a meeting will not do any help at all.
Classes that encourage dog fights and equivalence should be out of the list. So, when you search for a training class, find thoroughly and choose carefully.
As Dan said in the video, when little troubles arise among dogs and your puppy, the wrong thing to do is to pick it up. It means you overreact to the situation. If your puppy’s giving sign “I can deal with this”, then don’t go over.
Conclusion for Puppy Socialization
Puppy socialization is vital to a pup’s both physical and mental health. If you want your puppy to grow up a happy, energetic and social little angel, you should take further research into how to properly have it meet other things and people. It’s definitely your full responsibility to take care of it. So always stay sharp focus on your pup whenever or wherever it is to protect it from any potential danger.
That’s all I want to share today. I hope you guys find this useful, especially those who have just owned a new puppy. Thank you, Dan, for your demonstration video and your tips as well. Interested in more information about dogs, puppies and how to train them, follow us and stay tuned.
Thank you and see you all soon.