Why Puppy Socialization is so critical
Puppy Socialization is one of the most critical components for your new furry baby! Socialization is the process of teaching your pup how to see and understand the world around them… whom to be trustful of, how to handle situations, and how to cope with environmental stimuli are all integral parts of responsible puppy parenthood. The best thing to do for new puppies is to TAKE THEM EVERYWHERE! Cute, cuddly puppies are naturally a draw to everyone, so use that to your advantage! Remember, the goal for the puppy is to have POSITIVE experiences, not neutral or fearful experiences.
According to the AKC, “Canine-behavior researchers have found that there are several crucial “socialization windows” in the first year—limited periods during which the pup is receptive to the lifelong benefits of exposure to new things. Of these periods, the earliest—the first 12 weeks of life—is the most critical. According to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB), sociability outweighs fear during this period, making it “the primary window of opportunity for puppies to adapt to new people, animals, and experiences.” This period is when the pup first learns to accept and enjoy the company of people, to behave appropriately around other dogs, and to experience the differing aspects of the world around him without fear.”
Legendary dog behaviorist Dr. Ian Dunbar recommends for puppies to meet 100 new people by the time they are 12 weeks of age. Puppies need to meet people (and animals!) of all different sizes, ages, ethnicities, as well as those wearing hats, sunglasses, carrying umbrellas, in wheelchairs, on horses, etc. For a more in-depth checklist, click here: http://petprofessionalguild.com/Resources/Documents/PPG-Client-Puppy-Socialization-Download.pdf
Brining your dog to daycare in a facility such as Puppy Playground also helps teach puppy how to properly socialize, interact and play with dogs of all ages and sizes. Older members of the pack help to teach puppies proper canine body language and social skills, helping them grow into calm, confident members of society.