Socializing your puppy as young as possible is very important. Make sure they have had the required amount of vaccinations that your veterinarian recommends before setting them down in a space where other puppies and adult dogs without vaccinations might have been. You don’t want them getting sick and catching something by letting them roam around too soon. I always cringe when I see an 8 week old pup running around at the dog park!
Taking in the Sights, Sounds, and Smells
If your puppy is too young to roam around, you want to be careful you don’t take it to the extreme by locking your dog in the house for 3-4 months. That can lead to fear, aggression, and behavior issues once you do start bringing them out into real life. Something you could do, is walk them around while you hold them, or you can put them in a wheelbarrow, stroller, or wagon. This way, they can experience the wide variety of sights, sounds, and smells in the world without the risk of getting an infectious disease. If there will be people that will be out that you would like your puppy to meet, you can keep disinfectant wipes with you. This way, people can clean their hands before they pet your new puppy. We want your pup to always have positive experiences with unfamiliar people, so they do not develop a fear of strangers. We do not want them to ever be put in danger of being stepped on, or being teased by little children. So, supervise your puppy 100% while others are with them. They can pet them calmly and that’s it. We don’t want people playing with your puppy or giving them treats at all unless they are in your house. Your puppy should develop a positive association with a variety of people, but interactions with strangers outside should be boring. The reason for this is that if they are given too much value from strangers, they will get too excited every time they meet someone, this will lead to behavioral issues and make it harder for them to focus on you during the training process. We want there to be a time and place for allowed play times, and we want out dogs to know that all the value comes from the one holding them or the leash.
Once your puppy has had their last vaccine, the next step is socialization with other dogs. Now, this needs to be done very carefully in a controlled environment. We never want to put them in a position where they can get hurt or scared (avoid dog parks at all costs). If the other dog bites or plays with them too rough, the negative experience could emotionally damage them for a long time, even life. So, anytime they meet another animal, be sure 100% that the other animal is nice and that they are on a leash. That way, if they get out of hand, the other owner can pull their dog back right away. If the other dog plays nicely on a leash, then you can let them play together in the backyard where you can watch their behavior closely. If the other dog starts to play too rough or if you see your puppy showing signs of fear or acting nervous, separate them.
Advanced Puppy Training in Phoenix AZ
This is a good start to proper socialization for your puppy. If you are interested in more advanced dog training, our trainers would love to help! You can check out our training page and watch the videos of customers working with their dogs after they have been with the trainers at Rob’s Dogs. Also check us out on Instagram or Facebook, just search Robs Dogs LLC or click the links below. I hope this helps get you started socializing your puppy.
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