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Puppy Socialization: the Basics for New Owners

May 11, 2020 2:47 pm Published by

What is puppy socialization?

Just like human babies, puppies don’t enter the world automatically knowing how everything works. Puppy socialization refers to the process of familiarizing your pup with the experiences of living in a society.

This involves introducing your puppy to new sights, smells and sounds to help him or her become less skittish and more confident in new environments.

Why is puppy socialization important?

During the first weeks of life, puppy socialization is crucial.

By 12-28 weeks old, puppies become suspicious and scared of new experiences, often spooked at things like car horns, new neighborhoods, and unfamiliar faces. At 3-12 weeks of age, your puppy is more adaptable to new environments, making it a very important time to begin the socialization process.

This means socialization begins even before your pup is adopted into your family! Of course, choosing a responsible breeder is key.

A responsible breeder like those with All Star Puppies will allow pups to experience indoor and outdoor environments. They will also allow pups to spend time with a variety of friendly people and children. They will handle your puppy gently and gradually introduce him or her to new sights, sounds and smells.

While 3-12 weeks is the best time for socialization, a puppy this age will likely still feel anxious when introduced to a new home. Your pup will need your help to become more comfortable in their new world.

How do I socialize my puppy?

Introduce your pup to new things one at a time – that includes people, other pets, and even rooms in your house. If possible, get them used to one new face, sound, room or animal before moving on to the next one. After each new situation, reward your puppy with plenty of treats and affection to make them feel better.

Dogs can sometimes pick up on their owner’s emotions. When you introduce your puppy to a new experience, make sure you are totally calm and relaxed. Nervous energy can make your pup more skittish and suspicious.

For homes with kids, try to supervise young children to keep them from overwhelming the pup. In time, your puppy will love to play with your kids, but it’s best to keep children from immediately picking up or overcrowding your pup.

Trusted, safe indoor puppy socialization classes are another option for busy pet owners. Puppies can begin these classes as early as 8 weeks old.

Talk to a trusted vet about when it is healthy for your pup to begin classes and become socialized. Ideally, this should happen after they start receiving vaccines but before they are completely finished.

Some easy ideas for friendly socialization:

  • Take your pup on a drive through new neighborhoods and out into the country to see and smell new things.
  • Arrange playdates with other puppies (who have also been kept up to date on vaccines) and their owners.
  • When he or she is ready, bring your puppy to a busier public place where they can encounter friendly strangers, like a town square or public park.

The first year of puppy life is a beautiful but crucial stage in their development. With the proper guidance, your puppy will grow into a confident, well-behaved dog ready to take on the world with you!


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This post was written by All Star Puppies

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