Socializing Your Puppy

Are you getting a new puppy soon? If so, the next few months are going to be very crucial for your new furry friend. Little Fido has lots to discover about this big new world. He’ll need to learn housetraining, basic obedience commands, and lots of other things in order to grow up into a well-behaved adult dog with good doggy manners. Socializing your puppy is a critical part of Fido’s early development. Dogs that are properly socialized as puppies tend to be calmer, friendlier, and less stressed out by unfamiliar people or situations, while dogs that have not been socialized properly have a greater chance of turning out to be aggressive or anxious, or developing behavioral issues. In this article, your veterinarian London goes over some of the basics of socializing puppies.

What is Socializing?

To put it simply, socializing your dog means exposing him to unfamiliar people, places, and situations. How well a dog is socialized can play a very big role in what sort of temperament he will have as an adult, as he will later draw on these experiences as references. While you can’t possibly give Fido a preview of every type of situation he will ever encounter, the broader the range of the experience he gets as a puppy, the less likely he is to be frightened or anxious in unfamiliar situations.

When To Socialize

There is a limited window which offers the best time to socialize your puppy. This is typically between 3 and 12 weeks of age. Once puppies get older than 12 weeks, they’ve already formulated some opinions, and it gets harder to socialize them. After puppies reach 18 weeks of age, it becomes even more difficult to socialize them properly.

How To Socialize

Take Fido on short trips to parks, on walks, to beaches … anywhere he will experience new places and faces. Always keep a close eye on him to be sure he isn’t getting scared. If he seems frightened, pet him, and give him treats, and speak to him softly. Don’t force him into a situation that could overwhelm him, and don’t be afraid to take him back home if he seems really scared. Your dog’s socialization should include lots of treats and petting, so he associates these new experiences with good things. You can have a few people at a time stop over to meet the little guy; one group one night, and another the next. If you have a tight schedule, you may want to consider sending your little one to puppy kindergarten.

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