Hi Everyone! Wanted to share this awesome video on socialization!! LOTS of great info, easy to understand, great guidelines!! Heres the link:
The first 16 weeks of a puppies life are THE MOST IMPORTANT time to get socialization done!! Their brains are busy categorizing everything and everyone they meet as “good” or “scary” during this period in their life.
It can be so hard to know what to think on the risk of puppies getting sick from exposure to things like parvo. The risk is very real. However, their is a very real risk in not socializing enough that can lead to permanent behavior problems. This video is great in describing balancing both these risks!
It’s a good idea to have “restricted” socialization experiences before puppy’s had their second vaccination. Take them with you everywhere, but don’t let them walk anywhere they could be exposed to parvo. (IE no dog parks, road side rests, or other high traffic areas yet!!)
AFTER puppies had second vaccination, you can start being less cautious. Puppy needs to get out and about more, before the end of 12-16 weeks of age.
Remember to bring treats with you whenever socializing puppy to new experiences/people/dogs! No need to be a behavior expert, simply:
- Expose pup to stimulus (new person, place, thing, dog, kid etc)
- Reward with a treat and praise
- Puppy will associate new experience with positive (yummy treat and praise)
For example: big truck drives by, you give puppy a treat. Repeat. Pretty soon, puppy hears loud traffic/truck and thinks, “hey, wheres my treat” instead of being fearful.
It’s very important to keep up on socialization clear into adulthood! Just because your pup is now an adult doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dedicate some time each week to keeping the good socialization going!!
Socialization can seem like a big time commitment, but the backlash of not doing it early on is not worth a little bit of time and effort during puppyhood. The rewards of having a well balanced, confident adult dog makes every minute spent on socialization well worth it!!