You may have already heard about dog socialization and how it can help your dog to behave according to the environment he is in. But do you know how to start the socialization process? And how important is socialization to your canine friend?
In this article, we will talk about how socialization is done and how to do it effectively.
It is important to socialize your puppy to different environmental stimulation as much as possible. The experience will help our pets become accustomed to their surroundings without them freaking out.
You have to expose them to new people, sounds and other animals, while making the experience fun.
Dogs, especially puppies, have a period where they are open to understand new experiences. This period is often referred to as the “socialization window”.
This is considered an important phase, because this is how the dog will respond to new things around him for life. If the exposure has a negative impact on your puppy, it will result in the dog becoming fearful or aggressive.
On the other hand, if the exposure was positive, then the outcome will be a well-balanced, stable dog. Make sure that you give your pet some well-run puppy classes at ages 3 to 4 months.
Typically, have your puppy meet a lot of new people, say 200, before she reaches 16 weeks of age. At age 6 months old, she should have met around 400 new people. After a year, she should have a positive experience with 600 new people.
How and where to expose your puppy?
Dog parks may be enticing, but skip it. It’s actually a place to get your puppy sick. Furthermore, not all dogs are puppy-friendly.
Remember, that one bad experience with a not-so-friendly dog may result in the development of behavioral issues when he becomes an adult.
You can schedule a meet up with family, friends, neighbors or colleagues who own friendly and healthy dogs that your puppy can play with. Letting your pup join training classes is another way to expose your pup to other animals.
Most pet owners will also get their puppy socialized by walking him out to a lot of different places. Have a goal of having field trips at least three times a week. Bring lots of your pup’s favorite tasty treats.
If for some reason your puppy becomes fearful, remove him from the situation immediately. Again, the goal here is to create a positive experience. Flexibility is the necessary key.
Importance of dog or puppy socialization
If you want to have a well-behaved dog, you need to invest time and money to have your canine friend appropriately socialized. It is not only good for you, but also for your pet.
You could also consider adopting a well-socialized adult dog, if you don’t have the time or energy to socialize your puppy.
Remember that your dog will be part of your family for the next 10 to 15 years. A little extra effort is necessary to keep your dog more loving and a lovable family companion. During this stage, you can set the behavior of your dog for the rest of her life.
So, to summarize, how important is socialization to your canine friend? Well, it appears that it is very important to enable your dog to become happy, stable and well-balanced.
For a more detailed overview of the power of proper socialization, take a look at the following articles:
American Kennel Club – Puppy Training Classes Pay Off
The Kennel Club – Puppy socialisation
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