Socializing your puppy is essential, just like making sure they get their vaccinations and learn to potty train. Dog training doesn’t have to be a drag for dog owners, especially with young puppies. When you do it on time and while they’re at their most adorable, it’s easier to be patient as they learn.
What Is Puppy Socialization?
Early socialization is vital for puppy owners and their fur babies. It’s all about making a positive association with the outside world and getting them used to unfamiliar people and various sounds. During puppyhood is the best time to get a pooch used to public places and a wide variety of people. If they don’t get enough variety in their lives, they might grow up to be fearful or aggressive.
Training older dogs often requires a behaviorist or dog trainer because it’s more challenging. That’s why we recommend getting puppy training right while they’re young — including socializing them, exposing them to positive experiences, and getting them used to a range of new situations. And remember, the secret to a happy, friendly dog is a calm and contented household.
8 Tips on How to Socialize Your Puppy
The key to a loving and friendly adult dog is getting the socialization period right. If your pup seems agitated or unresponsive over an extended period of time, don’t think twice about training classes at puppy kindergarten. A trained individual can help you work through any issues for the best future outcomes.
1. Don’t Hesitate With New Puppy Socialization
The most effective time for ironing out future behavior problems is the first 10 to 16 weeks of age. However, you’ll need to be consistent with training for up to two years to give your pooch the best chance of growing up anxiety- and aggression-free.
2. Daily Walks and Trips to the Dog Park
It’s crucial you take your pup out at least once a day without fail. This lets them interact with and learn from the outside world and other animals from the safety of your side. Leash training is a great way to get started with your pup, acting as both a bonding and a practical activity for you both.
3. Variety Is Key
Don’t just take your furry pal for walks — take it to playdates, puppy classes, and other controlled environments where it can meet new dogs. Also, be sure to introduce it to a wide variety of people. If it gets used to just men or women, or just people who look a certain way, it might react badly to individuals who look different in public places.
4. Go on Car Rides
Dogs generally love going on car rides, but it’s a good idea to get puppies used to riding in the car early on. They can travel in a small crate, sit on someone’s lap, or be strapped in with a dog car seat belt.
5. Gradually Get Them Used to Different Sounds
One by one, and while the puppy isn’t in an excitable or nervous mood, introduce them to potentially frightening loud noises. Here are some examples:
- Vacuum cleaners
- Busy roads
- Use sound recordings for things like thunder, fireworks, car horns, etc.