Turn your puppy into a social butterfly who loves being around others. The first 6 months of your little cutie’s life is critically important for effective socialization. During this time, a pet parent will expose their puppy to all of the activities and people in the daily life of their new pack “family.” Socialization will allow your puppy to grow into a relaxed and well-adjusted dog that won’t attack the mailman on his rounds. Here are a few ways to start the socialization process. But remember, puppy socialization is constant and you need to work at it over time.
Examples of how to socialize your puppy
Introduce your puppy to family and friends
Invite family and friends over to meet your new bundle of fur. Allow your family and friends of all ages to play with, hold and pet your new puppy. It is especially important to introduce your pup to children. Kids may pull your baby’s tail and roughhouse a bit, but this interaction is good at an early age. It will give you a sweet easy going puppy that won’t react aggressively when a little brat walks up and pulls at your pup’s tail on the street.
Arrange a play date with your other pets
Many families have a variety of pets in their homes; dogs, cats, guinea pigs and much more. Introduce your new arrival to other pets. Try to do this as soon as you bring a new puppy into your home. Introduce each pet individually at first and then let them all play as a group. All animals can be friends no matter the age, size, or species. I have a friend with a pet hamster that roams around the house with three dogs and they all get along great!
Meet and play with other puppies
Have your puppy meet and play with other puppies or dogs. Dog parks are a great place to bring your puppy. Make sure that your pup has all booster shots, which usually takes place at about 4 months old. Most dog parks have separate sides for smaller dogs, socialize your puppy with the smaller dogs first. Later you can make an introduction to larger dogs at the park, they may rough house a bit so make sure to supervise your puppy carefully. Remember that your puppy grew up rough housing with litter-mates so the instinct is already there.
Expose your puppy to places
During your puppy’s lifetime, they will visit a variety of places; the vet and groomer at first. Take your puppy with you to any place that allows puppies. Bring your puppy for car rides, truck rides, to friend’s houses, the beach, the lake, parks, schools, outdoor cafés and other places that your community allows pets to enter. The more time in different setting the more natural it will become for your pup.
Familiarize your puppy with your neighborhood
Whether you live in an apartment building or in a home in a large neighborhood, let your puppy get to know their neighborhood and all of the other people and animals living in it.
Exposing your puppy to a wide variety of people, places, and events will prevent your puppy from becoming socially insecure. Early socialization will help prevent your puppy from developing aggression towards others and being fearful of others in the future. These habits can be very difficult to break, so get out there with your fluffy baby!
Tell us about you puppy socialization tips, tactics and strategies!
Bringing a new family addition into the home is extremely exciting! Becoming a new puppy parent comes with a ton of new joys, challenges and responsibilities. PupBox was created to help new puppy parents like yourself, by providing all of the toys, treats, accessories and training information you need, when you need it. CLICK HERE to learn more about PupBox.
And remember, puppyhood is fast and is gone before you know it. Make sure to savor the time when your pup is young, and take lots of pictures along the way!