Puppies need socialization just like humans do. Everyone knows that one kid who spent far too much time inside alone who is just a little weird. No one wants their puppy to be the one asked to stop eating paste.
When do I socialize my pup?
When it comes to socializing your new family member to humans, the sooner the better. Make sure whoever you’re introducing your puppy to is comfortable around dogs to ensure each interaction is positive.
It is important to also socialize your dog with other dogs! Your puppy should be socialized up to the level of their vaccines. If your new family member does not yet have all of their vaccines, keep them away from unvaccinated dogs or those whose vaccine histories you are unsure about.
Things to Consider:
- Temperament – try to socialize your dog with dogs with similar temperaments and personalities. If your little dude is calm and a bit more like the Cowardly Lion, try to introduce them to new friends that are also on the shy side. This helps to limit the risk of having a negative experience while socializing.
- One on One – Although a puppy party may seem like the best idea ever, it may be a touch overwhelming for your new family member. Try introducing your dog to new friends on a one-on-one basis to help insure social interactions are a positive experience.
- New People – When introducing your puppy to new people keep the rules the same as introducing them to a new puppy. Keep meetings short, one-on-one, and positive.
- Take it slow – Your puppy is living out the lyrics “a whole new world” every day of its new life so keep things simple. Your pup should be introduced to one new thing every day (ex. car rides, cats, people of all shapes and sizes, dogs of all shapes and sizes, etc.) but try to strike a nice balance between learning about the world and crippling stress of too many new experiences.
What if my puppy becomes scared or something negative happens?
If you are socializing your new pup and they have a negative experience (i.e. are scared or have a small scuffle with another dog) fight the instinct to cradle your new baby in your arms and instead redirect their focus back to you and remember to give tons of love and praise for the desired behaviour.