Socializing a puppy is one of the most important things you can do for your pooch. The best time to introduce your pup to the many everyday situations, places, people, and animals is when they are between 3 and 12 weeks old, as well as the 6-8 month window when dogs again reach an important developmental stage.

What is socializing

Wild dogs fear other dogs who are not in their own pack, and this is the same for domesticated dogs. They must be trained to accept, and behave acceptably, not just with other dogs, but also with other animals and of course, humans.  Many things can cause a canine to behave aggressively so it’s important that a dog is introduced to as wide a variety of situations, people, animals, sights, and sounds as possible so that they can learn that these things are not a threat to them. Introducing a dog to these things in a gentle way, usually between the age of 3 – 11 weeks, will set your dog up for a happier and less stressful life.

Why Should You Socialize Your Puppy?

Socializing a puppy will help them learn how to interact with both people and other animals, particularly other dogs.  This is done at a young age when they’re at the right developmental stage.

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How To Socialize An Aggressive Dog

socializing an aggressive dog

Perhaps due to previous experiences and training (or lack of it), a dog may be aggressive. Should you just let your dog be? No. It’s never too late to socialize with a dog. Find out your dog’s triggers and limits, and then change your own behaviour in order to change the behaviour of your dog. Now it’s time to begin to socialize your angry pooch in a careful and positive way.

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How To Socialize Your Puppy While Social Distancing

Socializing your puppy while social distancing

Even when you need to social distance, it’s important to introduce your puppy to new sights and sounds in a variety of situations. There are many easy and clever ways to do this from setting up a bubble with another dog owner to taking your puppy with you when you run errands in the car.

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Create Positive Associations for Meeting New Dogs

positive reinforcement to socialize a puppy

Positive reinforcement doesn’t just work for children; it works for puppies, too! Reward your pup and they’ll learn to associate good new situations and good behavior with praise (or treats).

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Can You Over Socialize a Dog?

Can You Over Socialize a Dog?

Now that we know that it’s important to socialize a puppy, and that it takes a great deal of new situations for a pup to become accustomed to staying calm. The question is…can you over-socialize a pooch? The short answer is no.

For more information about over socialization and more, click here.

What Not To Do When Socializing A Puppy

What Not To Do When Socializing A Puppy

You love your new pooch and can’t wait to take it home with you…but there is an optimum window of time in which to do this. Taking your new pup away from its familiar surrounding before this time is one of the ways not to properly socialize your dog. There are many other things you should be aware of so that you have the best outcome for your new fur baby and you, too.

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Get Your Dog Used To Visitors

Get Your Dog Used To Visitors

Because puppy socialization must take place before they can be fully vaccinated, you must be careful of how you go about it. One of the ways to do this is to have guests over to your home to meet your pooch in a safe and controlled environment.

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Who & What To Get Your Puppy Used To

If you don’t want to miss any of the many important people, animals, sounds, and situations that you should work to successfully introduce to your pup, this is the checklist for you.

Click here for a puppy socialization checklist.

You may also be interested in 7 Tips for Brushing a Dog’s Teeth.

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