The Importance of Socializing Your Puppy

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Puppy Socialization is Critical!

The importance of socializing your puppy cannot be overstated.  All puppy breeds behave differently in front of strangers, with some puppies choosing to ignore people altogether.  They may choose to glance at someone, then go on to pay no attention to him.  On the other hand, some puppies are the total opposite and love to meet everyone they can.  These types of puppies love attention and will take any attention they can get.

Some puppies are happy with those they have come to know in their own family, or those they have selected to be friends.  Others, on the other hand, may feel comfortable just around those of the same sex.  Most puppies like children, although there are a few rare cases in which certain puppies like adults but not children.  This is extremely rare and is normally due to the way they were bred or raised.

The Importance of Socializing Your Puppy

When your puppy is between the ages of 8 weeks and 8 months, socializing with him is extremely important.  However, it’s critical to begin socializing your puppy when your puppy is between the ages of 8 to 16 weeksDuring this time, you should always do everything you can to ensure that your puppy meets other people.  Although he may be shy at first and not interact with other puppies, he will eventually come around.  Be patient with your puppy during these times, as he will need reassurance from you. For more information read this article from the experts at AKC Puppy Socialization.

You should also enroll your puppy in a socialization class.  These classes provide the perfect environment for puppy socialization.  Your puppy will get used to being around other puppies and other people, as all the puppies are enrolled in the course along with someone from their “pack”.   Once your puppy has successfully completed a socialization class you will know firsthand the importance of socializing your puppy. Read this post for more on this topic. How to socialize your puppy.

Until recently, owners were discouraged from taking their puppies anywhere there were other dogs until they had completed all of their puppy shots. However, that line of thought has been proven false and now it is considered more important to get your puppy socialized before the age of 16 weeks.   The recommended timeline for the shots and training is to start your puppy on the puppy shots and as long as he has had one parvo shot there shouldn’t be a problem with illness.  It is required for all pups in a socialization class to have had at least one parvo shot. Also, the puppies must be concurrently getting their other puppy shots while in the class.

Don’t Separate a Puppy From His Mother too Soon

Your puppy’s parents also contribute to his socialization skills.  If your puppy’s parents were good with people and other puppies, then it’s likely your puppy will be too. On the other hand, if the parents were shy or aggressive then those genes could be passed on as well.  Puppies inherit many traits from their parents. Therefore, it’s a good idea to try and find out if your puppy comes from parents with a good temperament.

Puppies that leave their mother before 7  weeks have not learned all of the social skills they should learn.  Many puppies that are brought to a new home before seven weeks will end up nippy or aggressive around people.  Although they may be aggressive towards people, they may be shy or fearful around other puppies, as they lack the social skills needed to be themselves.

Puppies Inherit Good and Bad Traits From Their Parents

If a puppy was injured or frightened during his early years, he can end up in a state of trauma.  This type of thing leaves a huge scar in the mind of a puppy, making it very hard for him to get past it.  Some puppies that have been injured or frightened by an individual never get past it.  They may end up fearing humans in general or being very aggressive towards them when they feel frightened.  When you take your puppy home for the first time, you should always make him feel welcome and safe.

Make sure your puppy gets plenty of interaction with people and other dogs.  This will be a tremendous help in socializing your puppy.  He will learn socialization skills at an early age that will help him throughout his life.  Puppies that are overly sheltered will turn out shy towards people and other puppies.  With your puppy being your companion for life – you should always ensure that he gets the socialization he needs.

Final Thoughts

If you do a good job getting your puppy socialized, you and your puppy will be much happier for years to come. It’s very important to get him off to a good start and keep him going in the right direction.

Also, continue training him as this not only makes him better behaved but also provides him with mental stimulation.

Please feel free to leave a comment or a question. I will answer all comments.

Thank you for taking the time to read this!

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