The Importance of Socializing Puppies
From big to small, all dogs are in need of proper socialization, and this begins when they’re puppies! In fact, the critical “window” of opportunity for social development in dogs closes by 12 weeks of age! The experiences puppy has during this time influence the type of dog he will become.
- Introduce your puppy to 100 different people by 3 months of age.
- Set up puppy play dates with a variety of other dogs, so he can learn correct doggy etiquette.
- Teach puppy that things like umbrellas, hats, wheelchairs, canes, walkers and loud noises are associated with happy voices, treats, and play time!
- Avoid rewarding fearful behavior with coddling—instead, work on gradually increasing his exposure to whatever it is that scares him, and make the experience fun!