What is Puppy Socialization?
Early socialization, along with positive training, can go a long way in preventing behavior problems. The first 16 weeks of a puppy’s life is considered the critical period. This is the primary window of opportunity for puppies to become comfortable with other dogs and people by providing positive experiences with a variety of people, children, dogs, noises, shapes, and textures in their environment. Lack of proper socialization during this important time can increase the risk of behavioral problems later in life including fear, avoidance, and/ or aggression. Behavior problems are the number one cause of surrenders to shelters.
The best way to socialize your puppy is to enroll him in a puppy socialization class. Here, he will be introduced to puppies of different breeds, colors, and sizes. He will learn bite inhibition while playing with other puppies, gain confidence with tunnels, shapes, and different people, and be introduced to things which he will encounter in his environment.
According to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, puppies can start puppy socialization classes once they have received a minimum of one set of vaccinations and a first deworming at least 7 days prior to the first class. Click here for the AVSAB position statement
Take your puppy on a scavenger hunt to socialization…Ask me how.