The environment your puppy grows up in determines and shapes his or her nature as an adult dog. For every puppy, the best time to introduce him or her to the world outside is during 8-16 weeks of age. At this tender age, puppies can adopt the social skills that make them friendly pets in the future.
If left under socialized, even the most ordinary things can make your dog nervous or anxious such as encountering another puppy or human.
Socialization of your dog is what education is for you!
Education is imperative for a child to grow into a healthy adult – and the same goes for your furry companion. Social skills are essential for your puppy to feel comfortable and secure around other people, animals, etc.
Proper socialization helps your puppy to adjust to all types of sounds, sights, and smells. Dogs that are socially trained as puppies are not always fearful of new situations, such as meeting children or taking a ride in a car. Well-socialized dogs can quickly accept a new home or caregiver. The benefits of socialization are forever.
The entire world is new for your puppy. Therefore, it is necessary to make every new association of your puppy a positive one! One good rule of thumb is to be patient with him or her. Below are the tips that should come handy to help you socialize your puppy the right way.
1. Go on walks together
Simple things such as taking your puppy out to public places like parks and less crowded streets can be a good start. Walks will help your puppy get familiar with many situations such as children running around to various insects and birds.
2. Say hello to other humans
Gradually, help your puppy get involved with other people, both old and young. The idea is to help your puppy be as comfortable and happy with others as he or she is with you. However, be careful when you allow people to pet your puppy. Prevent children from going overboard with cuddles, and make sure whoever touches him or her has clean hands. The best way to help acquaint your puppy with other people is by starting with your own family.
3. Allow your puppy to make friends
Using food can be the best way to help your puppy associate better with other dogs. Keep a few if their favorite treats handy, and reward him or her every time they interact friendly with others. Once you are confident that your puppy is comfortable around other dogs, you can go for an off-leash stroll in the park.
4. Make your puppy understand sounds
It is essential that your puppy experiences noisy and busy roads that are different from your neighborhood. Make sure to expose your puppy to higher traffic roads and reward him or her for obeying your commands. You should also make sure that your puppy learns to be comfortable with scary and loud noises, such as the siren of a police van and honking of big vehicles. This will ensure that your puppy grows up to be a confident dog that is not afraid of big cars, loud noises, and crowded places.
If you have a furry member at home that shies away from meeting new people and other dogs, then Dog Day Afternoon can help you. From our group training sessions to our individual walks, we can help you select the right training program that allows your puppy to socialize safely and effectively.