Puppy Socialization – Get Off to a Good Start

May 2nd, 2017

Puppy Socialization is a massive project to undertake as dog owners. It refers to the time and effort that both puppy and owners put into developing a much more happy, confident and accommodating dog. Socialization is a task that involves multiple aspects of exposure. Bringing your dogs attention to varied animals, sounds, things, people and an over all environment that can keep changing. All of which can expect a mixed response from your dog, if not introduced to, at the right time and the right way. The wider the range of experiences you expose your furry canine to, the better the chances of her being comfortable in different situations as an adult.

Right Timing

Socialization is one of the most valued lessons you can teach your puppy all through their prime period of 3 to 12 weeks. During this time they are curious to explore and experience different situations.  This time is critical to introduce your new puppy to your environment. The variety of people, places, sounds, activities and everything that she will need to be accustomed to and feel at ease when in that moment. If done right this benefits the puppy to become an outgoing and friendly adult dog. While this training and teaching can be overwhelming for your puppy, you need to make sure it does not lead to an advert effect where the puppy is unable to handle too much at once and turns out to be frightened or hostile.

Why  & How to Socialize?

Dogs are incredibly alert, sensitive and are fond of interacting. They learn so much in their early weeks about their environment and the people they will be living with. We need to get their curious minds to approach new situations and understand everything from names, signs, body language and bonding with other dogs.  Research suggests “Puppies that come from a background of poor socialization specifically from pet shops and puppy farms end up with long lasting behavioural effects.” To deal with this socialization is the key to unlocking their potential and allowing them to be relaxed in several circumstances.

During the process of puppy socialization you must ensure that your puppy is comfortable and not worried each time you expose her to something new. Don’t let this rescue her out of the situation, instead keep an eye on her reactions and responsiveness to every situation and assess what can be improved or altered the next time. Gradually introduce your little one to a specific scene this gives them time to comprehend their surrounding atmosphere and in what manner to react in accordance. This is a major task for your puppy, always reward them for their performance, appreciate and pet them with praises, cuddles and treats!

Induce this treatment with a structure. This socialization window offers an opportunity for your dog to get familiarized to a broad set of situations. Bearing in mind this process can be diverse and bring out changed responses in every time. One bad experience can cause fear to the same next time giving way for no scope, try to avoid this by using positive reinforcement.

Lately the concept of puppy preschool has been booming, which gives rise to a great opportunity for healthy, early socialization. Typically puppy schools here in New Zealand are spanned over a period of 4 weeks with one class each week and costs an average of $100. Ideally these classes include a variety of dogs of different breeds and sizes. This is a good place to start with if you are first time dog owners and want to get the swing of how to go about with puppy socialization. Even for veteran dog owners this is suitable as long as you also follow up with your own training sessions to ensure the best possible outcome.

You want your socializing techniques to bring out the finest in your puppy, primarily resulting in a dog that interacts well with other animals and people.

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