How and When to Socialize Puppies and Dogs: Which Way Is the Best for Your Pet
The socialization of a puppy is an important process of getting to know the environment, as well as the development of adequate behavior. The environment is everything that is outside the apartment or any other room where the dog lives. It also includes strangers and animals, the noise of cars and motorcycles, cyclists, railways, transport, shops, a veterinary clinic, car trips, small children, and more.
The sooner the puppy gets to know all the manifestations of the external environment, the easier it will be for him to adapt. An unsocialized dog can throw itself under the wheels of a car and chase it, run away from its owner, be afraid of traffic noise, rush at screaming children, take food from someone else’s hands, try to eat in a garbage dump, pester people and prevent them from passing, fight with other dogs or run after the neighbor’s cats. We think you wouldn’t want that, would you? So let’s talk today about the best way to socialize a puppy and adult dog. Enjoy the reading!
How to Socialize a Puppy?
No matter how trite it may sound but socialization should start with choosing a puppy. Choose the breed that best suits your lifestyle, temperament, and the conditions you can provide to it. For example, if you don’t like to spend a lot of time outside, you won’t be able to devote enough time to your pet’s physical activity. Then you shouldn’t get a large breed dog and try to teach it to stay at home. Why is it important? Choosing the right dog is the key to successful puppy socialization training in the future. Each stage of socialization corresponds to the age of the puppy. Therefore, the information below will help answer the question: “When to socialize puppies”?
If your puppy is less than two months old, then it will be vaccinated and quarantined. After quarantine, start teaching your dog to walk on a leash, meet neighbors, other animals, and the sounds of the street. You should exude confidence, and don’t swear if your puppy growls or is scared. If during the walk the puppy behaves calmly, then be sure to praise it.
By this time, the puppy is already accustomed to walking on a leash or harness and is ready to learn new things. Teach it to react correctly to humans and other animals: do not growl, do not avoid them, do not rush at strangers, do not play with other people’s small children. You should do everything gradually. If the puppy is afraid, repeat the action tomorrow, do not overload the pet. Places to socialize your puppy must constantly expand. Learn to communicate with your friends and their dogs. It is ideal to find an owner with a pet of the same age and spend some time together so that the animals learn socialization skills together.
Teach your puppy to behave in a crowd. The pet should walk through the crowd confidently, without being frightened or bothering people. Gradually take the puppy with you on the subway, ride with it on ground transport, go to shops and cafes, to those, where possible, to a veterinary clinic. Return to those stages that the puppy did not go through or did not secure well enough. Remember that regular repetition of socialization training is very important and will work.
The socializing dogs last their entire life, and often during puberty, the animals begin to behave inappropriately. We have to return to the puppy stages again, to reinforce obedience. However, at 5–6 months, the final stage of primary socialization occurs: the dog is taught to muzzle, not to take food from strangers, not to eat food from the ground.
The socialization stages may not be as strictly age-appropriate and in a different order. However, the dog must acquire basic skills by 7-9 months. If something does not work out for you, you can always turn to a dog handler for professional help.
How to Socialize Your Dog?
Unfortunately, it is not always possible to socialize the dog during the periods described above. The reasons may vary. Perhaps you have already adopted an adult dog and notice some problems with socialization. Or your puppy was sickly and had to be quarantined for a long time. Regardless of any reason, this does not mean that you should further isolate your pet from the environment. Here are some tips for socializing adult dogs:
- Remember not to pull, leash, and yell at your dog if it barks or behaves in the wrong way. It will not soothe but rather increase the level of arousal and negative feelings. Stay calm and try to distract your pet
- The behavior of the dog has already formed and now you are doing the correction. So take your time socializing with your dog. Even introducing your pet to one new activity per week is an excellent result. For example, instead of immediately socializing dogs with other dogs. First, offer the role to the observers. Let your pet watch other animals play with others.
- Do not hesitate to seek help from a dog handler. He or she can advise you on the best way to socialize your dog, and also take into account the breed and temperament of the dog.
There are different ways to socialize your dog. Which one and in what period is best applied to your pet, it’s up to you. Because you are the one who is with the dog all the time, you know its habits and what mood it is in. The socialization process is not difficult but even fun. After all, you too are socializing in a new role, the owner of the dog. How quickly did your dog socialize? Write in the comments. Thank you for reading the article to the end. We will share new interesting information with you very soon. See you on the pages of our blog!
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