Socializing Puppies: Is it important?
Puppies don’t come into the world with a natural ability to handle all of the challenges involved with living among people. From strange sights to loud noises and unfamiliar environments, there are many new things that puppies will come across as they grow up with their human family. The most effective way to make sure that puppies are able to calmly deal with these situations is through socialization.
What Is Socialization?
Socializing puppies means exposing them to new locations, people and other animals when they’re still very young. This helps them learn to become comfortable in a variety of environments, which makes them calmer and safer to be around. Ideally, socialization should happen when puppies are between 3 and 12 weeks old. This is when they’re more curious than cautious about their surroundings. Once they’re older than 12 weeks, they start becoming more wary in new situations or environments.
Why Is Socializing Puppies Important?
Puppies who aren’t exposed to a variety of new surroundings, sights, sounds and other stimuli until they’re older can grow into easily stressed or fearful dogs. When this happens, they can become aggressive when they’re around other animals or people they don’t know. Sudden, loud noises, such as car horns, can also startle them and cause them to bark or exhibit other signs of stress. Socialization makes life easier for pet owners, too. Their puppies turn into dogs that can calmly handle being in any type of environment, including parks, friends’ houses and the vet’s office.
How Do You Socialize Puppies?
Socializing simply means taking puppies to new places or having them meet new people or other animals, but it has to be done carefully. Puppies can become overwhelmed if they’re exposed to too much at once, such as a large crowd or a very noisy place. It’s better to introduce them to new situations a little at a time, such as inviting one friend over or taking them for a car ride through the neighborhood.
It’s also important to keep in mind that puppies who don’t have all their vaccines are more at risk of catching certain illnesses when they’re around other dogs, especially in dog parks. Puppies who aren’t fully vaccinated should be socialized in a safer setting, like a puppy socialization class, where up-to-date vaccinations are required and puppies are expected to be free of parasites and diseases.
DoGoneFun has specific training classes available for puppies and their owners too. We can help you have an easily managed, well behaved dog that you can take anywhere in the city. Sign-up for our puppy training class today.