Do you know how to socialize a puppy? Why is it so important to make sure a puppy is properly socialized? These are questions we are going to answer today. Olivia is very busy being socialized now to make her a better hound down the road. Socialization is one of the more important things one needs to do with a young puppy.
We are not professional dog trainers, but we do know a bit about socializing puppies, and we are sharing what we know with you. Socializing doesn’t mean taking a puppy to a party, it means getting a puppy used to the world we live in. It is a large task but one that can easily be done. Things puppies see and experience in a positive way will be seen as normal later on in life.
Puppies also learn really well from other dogs in the house. If it works, take them out and about with a well socialized older dog to teach them the world is a safe and fun place.
Simple Ways To Socialize A Puppy
My mom tries to get Olivia a new experience at least one to two times a day. Experiences don’t have to be anything extraordinary. Some easy new experiences for puppies around your home/neighborhood would be:
- Let the puppy sniff around street grates, obviously very carefully, but they should learn not to fear such a surface.
- Mow the lawn with the puppy at a safe distance from the mower.
- Vacuum the house.
- Put your big trash bins in or out and take puppy along on a leash.
- Stand near a street with lots of loud traffic including big, noisy trucks.
- Visit a crowded playground so puppy learns not to fear kids.
- Greet neighbors, large, small, male, female, different races, people on crutches, or in wheel chairs.
- Walk near someone pushing a stroller.
This is a short list of things that may be frightening to a puppy at first, but if you praise them, bring treats along, and get them used to these things now, they won’t be afraid later in life.
Socialize A Puppy In New Places
Olivia gets around a lot. Mom takes her to as many places as she can so she learns that new spots are fun. For most puppies even different flooring can be scary, so expose them to all types of flooring by visiting different places. Some ideas for this part of socialization are:
- A puppy class.
- Puppy can tag along with your other dog to a class or dog sports competition.
- Take a trip to a pet store.
- Visit the homes of friends and relatives.
- Riding in the car.
- Go to dog friendly stores.
- Find dog friendly restaurants and patios to take your puppy.
- Let someone else take your puppy to places so they learn some independence from you.
Watch For The Fear Periods
Puppies have two basic fear periods, the first is around six months of age, the second around eighteen months. Each of these periods will last just a couple weeks. You will notice your happy confident puppy is suddenly terrified of a stranger or a car. Don’t make a big deal out of it, be happy, and positive. You don’t want a dog to experience trauma during these fear periods as it is very hard to remove from their minds.
How To Socialize A Puppy – Conclusions
The goal of good socialization is to have a well rounded puppy later in life. Obviously, you can’t get a puppy to experience everything, or have only positive experiences, but the more they see and find to be positive the better. Olivia is on the go all the time learning about new things and places. Even a big beach ball is scary for a puppy, but with encouragement, their curiosity comes out and they learn to play with it. Do as much as you can, it will pay off in the future.