The process of socialization should start young for puppies. Socializing with others in the first three months of their life is critical for your puppy’s development. Socialization can be a serious matter of life and death. According to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, behavioral issues are the number one cause of death for dogs under three years of age. Socialization should be more prominent in your puppy’s life when you notice them being more active. Here are some tips on the process of socialization.
Start Socialization Young
As mentioned, socialization should occur within the first three months of your puppy’s life. This time frame is crucial for them to develop socialization skills through exposure. As early as birth, it’s best if a puppy can be handled by humans and interacts with their siblings. As they grow older, they must be exposed to their surroundings. Having people over and allowing them in clean and monitored areas will help their socialization. In time, you’ll notice these social skills will follow them to the outside world when they will be exposed to more.
Take your puppy Everywhere you Can
Exposing your puppy to various people, places, things, sights, and sounds will make them less fearful of the world around them. Exposure to the world early on is vital in developing their socialization. The more people and dogs interact with them, the less fearful they will be when approached by them. In addition to human and animal interaction, exposing your puppy to different places is equally important. A car ride can be nerve-wracking for a puppy to overcome. Some veterinarians even recommend signing your puppy up for puppy training classes early on. This will expose them to people, dogs, and a new setting with all sorts of sights and sounds.
Be Aware of Vaccinations and Safety
Understandably, new puppy owners are hesitant to take their new puppies everywhere. Their immune systems are still developing during their early stages of life; however, if they are carefully exposed to places, the risk of infection is less, with the help of their maternal immunity and primary vaccinations. With this in mind, it’s still important to be safe. Our puppies are strong, but there are some illnesses they won’t be able to fight off. If you are not sure about the cleanliness of a place or what kind of dogs have been there, it may be best to avoid it for now. Dog parks are great places to socialize; however, many dogs and germs are around. It’s best to take your puppy to smaller areas and puppy-only classes where other puppies attend in similar health.
Allow for Time on Their Own
Although we’ve been encouraging socialization for your puppy, it’s still crucial to remember that they need time on their own. This will allow your puppy to learn how to be on their own and how to amuse themselves. A balanced dog that is both confident in being social and alone is well-developed. It’s not likely you’ll be able to be with your puppy at all times of the day. A healthy separation is necessary and will also prevent you from dealing with separation anxiety in the future.
Practice Makes Perfect
The process of socialization won’t be linear for all dogs. Some dogs may need more time to get used to various places, people, dogs, and situations. Every dog is different, but if you stay consistent and determined, your dog will look forward to adventures and be calm, spending time alone. At Top Dogs SF, we want to help your dog reach their best potential. If you have a new puppy, check out our socialization services and sign your dog up for some of our socials!