Socializing is one of the most important and crucial phases of a puppy’s life. To socialize your puppy, you need to help them introduce to new people, places, and pets in a comfortable way. Early socializing helps in boosting their confidence and makes them brave.
Proper socialization also prevents the bad habits of dogs at later age such as excessive barking, aggression, and anxiety.
Importance of Puppy Socialization
Many dog owners ignore the part of socializing their puppies and tend to keep them under-socialized. They are over-obsessed with their pets and always fear losing them. This is kind of a risky lifestyle for their pets as there are no chances for their mental growth.
On the other hand, some dog owners rush the process of socializing their puppies, resulting in over-socialization, which is also not good for the puppies, as it makes them uncomfortable and tiring.
If you are a new puppy owner, looking to train your puppy, you should always avoid both the above situations.
The idea behind socializing your new puppy is that you want them to learn new smells, sights, sounds, and positive behavior. It keeps them happier and they become less fearful and comfortable with humans.
When to Start Socializing My Puppy?
Dogs are open to learning in their imprinting period that is from their birth to 14 weeks of age. The ideal time to start socializing them is between the age of 4 -14 weeks.
This is the right period to let them seek new places, new friends and new situations.
But before you start the socializing process, get yourself comfortable with your puppy first. Every dog is unique and has different traits and you need to understand their behavior.
Your relationship with your puppy should be based on love, trust and respect.
Before taking your dog to the path of the socialization process, it’s recommended to get them vaccinations. Vaccinations help them to stay safe and prevent them from any environmental diseases.
Visit your local vet and let them know your plans and seek proper advise for your puppy.
How to Socialize Puppy?
There are many ways to let your puppy experience the world without pushing them too hard. Your job is to follow the socialization process and start early with your pet. Here are 5 simple and effective ways to socialize your puppy:
Start with daily morning or evening walks with your puppy. This will make them more comfortable in the outer areas and grow their senses.
Take them to newer places from time to time and let them experience this world from their beautiful perspective.
You should be careful enough not to let them walk alone in crowded or traffic areas. It’s always a good idea to carry a short leash along with you in the first few weeks.
Meeting New People
Puppies are scared from meeting new people in their initial stages of life. Your job is to take out this fear from their mind and make them more social towards humans.
Start introducing your puppy to your family and friends in a safe environment. Let your puppy differentiate between both genders of people and start getting comfortable around them.
This will help your puppy to get outside of their comfort zone and experience new situations.
Getting Used to Touch
This is one of the socializing processes, which puppies are most afraid of – getting touched by people other than their owner.
You need to extra cautious and always keep an eye on their behavior whenever someone else touches their body or pulls their paws.
Puppies are not aware of these senses and may get anxious in these kinds of situations. Always try to make them comfortable by touching them gently from time to time.
Visiting New Places
After you’ve started a daily walking routine with your puppy, it’s time to take them to newer places. You can take them to public parks, exercise hubs, or give them car rides.
Slowly build their confidence and behavior to meeting new random people and pets. Don’t just throw them in an uncomfortable situation and hope for the best – always stand together with your puppy.
Many of the dog owners enroll their puppies in dog classes. This also works in a positive manner to build their social behavior with new people.
The environment of these dog classes is safe and a great way for the mental and physical growth of puppies.
But before enrolling them in any puppy socialization classes, ask your local vet about the possibilities, as every pet has different traits and behavior.
What Not Do
While socialization comes with a lot of positives, there are times in which you don’t want your dog to be. Try to avoid these situations to keep the socialization process easy and safe for your pet:
- Coming in contact with aggressive dogs
- Overcrowded and traffic jam areas
- Taking them to adult dog parks
- Leaving them alone and unsupervised
Remember, your puppy trusts you, and its your job to keep their trust alive.
Puppy Socialization needs the same level of commitment from you as well. It may seem daunting to pass the full phase, but it will be worth in the end. Your puppy will become more calm, strong, and brave in their adulthood. Wish you all the luck!
That’s it in this article. Let me know your experiences and results in the comments section, I’ll be happy to see them.