Socializing your puppy properly is imperative to ensuring you will have a well-adjusted and happy pup. When socialized early, and appropriately, your puppy will be less likely to develop fears and anxieties because you have invested the time to positively expose her/him to situations she will experience throughout life. Socializing your puppy and teaching her/him about our human world will help you have a dog well versed in social skills as well as the ability to read cues from their fellow canine companions and be comfortable in different surroundings.
What are the elements of proper puppy socialization?
Socializing your puppy goes far beyond just meeting dogs! Proper puppy socialization requires gently exposing your puppy to a variety of experiences, people, textures, and sounds. To help them positively acclimate to our human world, pet parents need to introduce puppies to different types of stimuli. During the first three months of their lives puppies go through a socialization period that will permanently shape their personality, temperament, and responses. This is a huge window of opportunity, so be proactive! Their curiosity to life and the environment far outweighs fear of the unknown during this period, so it is crucial not to miss this time frame. Failure to begin training during the formative stages could make your experience of owning a puppy more difficult. We want our puppies to be accustomed to all different sights, sounds, and textures in the most positive way possible, which reduces the development of different anxieties. Socializing your puppy properly can build solid confidence and security and prevent them from being fearful.
What should I do if I have issues with my puppy’s behavior?
Owning a well behaved, obedient, and confident pup makes outings more fun and enjoyable. If you are having an issue with your puppy, don’t ignore the issue. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to correct. If unwanted behaviors are rehearsed and practiced regularly, they will only become more difficult to resolve. There’s nothing more stressful than having a pup that is unruly and obnoxious! Reach out to a trusted professional that specializes in dog training to help get you on the right track. Another great resource would be getting your puppy involved in a local group class to start exposing her/him to different stimuli. These classes geared towards puppy socialization will empower you, and your pup, to successfully sail through puppyhood. Getting involved early will not only be a helpful path to puppy raising, it’s also a valuable way to bond and develop a relationship with your dog.
What are the long-term benefits of puppy socialization?
The long-term benefits of puppy socialization include:
- Decreased anxiety when traveling, getting groomed, going to the vet, or being cared for by a professional pet sitter
- Lower risk of injuries associated with dogs that bolt after being startled
- Decreased risk of the puppy being rehomed
Proper puppy socialization allows your dog to live a more relaxed and happy life, which in turn allows you to have a more relaxed and happy life with your pup.
This article was written by Rachelle Yates, the owner and founder of K9 Revolution, LLC. Rachelle resides in Downtown McKinney with her husband and young daughter. She specializes in obedience, behavior modification, and training service dogs. Her goal is to develop and nurture the canine-human relationship to be the best it can be. Her canine family includes four dogs: Misha (Catahoula mix), Ginger (boxer/shepherd mix), Eli (Italian greyhound), and a new golden doodle fur baby. Rachelle is highly rated by many TDPS families.
You can contact Rachelle at: K9 Revolution, (214) 535-7768, [email protected]