Set your puppy up for a stress-free life through early exposure.
Socialization may sound like it’s just having a bunch of fun with your puppy… because it is! Socializing means introducing a young puppy to all of the different people, places, things, sounds, and surfaces to walk on that you can think of. This way they won’t be afraid of these things when they see them later a an adult. It’s actually a lot of work, but it’s fun work!
The “Critical Socialization Period” is the time before 4 months when it’s the most important for puppies to experience all the new things in the world like people, places, objects, and sounds. This way when they’re older, these things won’t be new or scary and the puppies won’t be fearful of other new things either.
Socializing a puppy that's 2-4 months old is actually really easy. Just take them to meet lots of different people, go to different places, and just have lots of different experiences! Invite over your friends and family and make sure your puppy sees all different kinds of things like hats, beards, tall people, short people, people in wheelchairs, everything!
Having an adult dog that is comfortable with all sorts of people starts with a puppy who interacts with them all at a young age!
Just like with people, an adult dog will be afraid to go to new places if they didn’t get out much as a puppy. This can be fixed, but it’s much easier to do when they’re younger!
It’s very important for dogs to interact with other puppies and adult dogs of all sizes, shapes, and personalities. This is how they learn to behave appropriately as an adult.
“Weird” objects and loud sounds can be very stressful for an adult dog who hasn’t been around them from a young age and learned that the world is actually a very safe place. It might be time to plan a field trip!
You’ve got a lot of work to do! It’s your job to make sure your puppy see and interacts with all these new things as soon as possible!
Socialization for an older puppy or an adult dog can still be fun, but takes just a little more work. They may be a little unsure about some new things, so you’ll have to use treats to make everything fun and awesome.
If your dog seems to be more fearful than this, you may have to do some FEAR TRAINING to help them over their fears. A good trainer will also be super helpful for this.
Socializing for adult dogs can be a little tricky if you don’t know how they’re going to react to some new things. It may take a bit more patience, lots of treats, and the help of a good trainer. Once again, understanding how to do FEAR TRAINING can help a lot with this. The following video gives you an idea of how adult dogs can benefit from socializing and experiencing new things, but for more information on how to keep your adult dog happy and social, head over to the lesson on SOCIALIZING FOR ADULT DOGS.