When you adopt a puppy, it is important that you prioritize socializing them. When puppies are very young, they begin to explore the world and find out what is safe and what is not during what is called the “sensitive period.” If they have a pleasant experience with something, they accept it, and the more new things they are exposed to with which they have a pleasant experience, the more they come to accept that just because something is new, doesn’t mean that it is scary. Socialization is important so that your dog becomes more adaptable and able to interact with a wide range of people, animals, and experiences. They do not fear the world, so they don’t have to be aggressive or anxious when they experience new things.
You should begin socializing your puppy the moment you get them. Socialization happens in a limited time frame, until your puppy is about 16 weeks old. Of course, this age will range from puppy to puppy, but in general, you want to use early intervention to ensure your puppy is as socialized as possible.
If you do not socialize your puppy, you are looking at some major behavioral issues down the road. When a dog is undersocialized, they are extremely rigid, unable to handle any sort of change in their lives. They may be totally fine when they are in their normal environment or routine, but if anything changes whatsoever, they are unable to cope. They may refuse to go certain places, like outdoors when there are a lot of people around. They may be able to leave the house, but only when it is nighttime and there is less activity, and even then, they may experience extreme anxiety. Some feel the need to lunge and bark at everything they encounter. While there is no guarantee that socialization will prevent these behaviors, there is a much better chance of your dog behaving well if you properly socialize them.
To socialize your puppy, it is important to expose it to many different environments so it gets used to a wide variety of stimuli. Take your puppy around to many different places so they can take it different sounds, scents, and sights.
It’s important to introduce your puppy to all different kinds of people so that they do not form a fear of one certain kind of person. Because the country is still rather segregated in terms of race, ethnicity, and culture, many dogs will react more strongly to a person of a race outside of their owner’s. Make a point to introduce your puppy to people are different backgrounds than you to help them learn to be accepting of all different kinds of people. You will also want to keep that in mind for children, people with visible disabilities, people wearing uniforms, homeless people—everyone should feel ordinary to your dog if you socialize them correctly. Try carrying treats to train your dog to accept everyone.
Additionally, if you do not want your dog to react in fear to other animals, you need to make sure they are exposed to them during their sensitive period. A puppy who has interacted with cats is like likely to have issues with cats in the future. Whatever animals your dog may be exposed to regularly, whether it is cows and other farm animals or squirrels if you live in the city. If you know for a fact that a dog is friendly and healthy, also make a point to bring your puppy around them. You may look to join a puppy play group once your dog has the proper vaccinations.
Dogs are often fearful of sounds they don’t recognize. Make it a priority to expose your dog to a variety of sounds, including fire truck sirens, police sirens, birds, trucks, doorbells, and intercoms. Dogs can often be very scared of fireworks or gunshots, so you may try placing a recording of these sounds so your dog becomes used to them.
With the right socialization, your dog has a much better chance of being well-behaved. When you are looking for washable puppy pads while you are potty training your pup, shop New Puppy Pads online today!