Positive puppy socialization experiences are so important if you want your little one to enjoy a lifetime of confident, friendly communication with the world around him.
Fido needs to learn to see the world as a friendly place, and that the people and animals he shares it with are his friends.
To make sure this happens, it's
important to introduce your pup to as many new and different people, sights,
sounds, smells and situations as possible... and as early as is safe and practical.
This page focuses on the different kinds of people, places and objects to include in your regular daily routines and outings.
It's a good idea to start your puppy socialization program by aiming to meet one new person two or three times a week.
Dogs aren't very good at generalization, and your little guy won't
necessarily recognize a very tall man with a hat as being of the same
species as a short lady wearing a dress!
Someone who looks different to the other people he is used to seeing, may be perceived as threatening or scary.
Make sure your pup has positive experiences with all of these:
An important part of socializing your puppy is getting him to feel comfortable in strange or unfamiliar surroundings.
If Fido only ever spends time in your home or yard, a trip to Petsmart (or even to the veterinarian's office) can be scary for him.
Once your puppy has had all his puppy vaccinations , try to make a trip to one of the following places (or any others you can think up) a regular part of your routine:
Try a daily walk to your local park, or your nearest dog park if your pup has a reliable recall (ie. 'comes' when called).
You can even 'kill two birds with one stone', by sitting on the ground or on a bench near where children are playing.
Feed Fido tasty treats while he watches the kids run and play, and hears their shouts and squeals. This will help him build positive feelings about being around children.
If you have a dog-friendly beach near you, it can be a great addition to your list of outings.
The feel of the water and sand, and the sound of the waves and seagulls, the smell of sea air, all of these are all new and interesting to him.
Be careful in summer when the days are hot, as little Fido can easily burn the pads of his feet on hot sand. If it's too hot for you to step on barefoot, it's too hot for him!
Try a short hike through your local woodlands, nature park or nature reserve.
The sounds of the birds, twigs snapping and all the fascinating scents will keep Fido enthralled.
Big professional sports events aren't generally dog friendly, unless you have a service animal, but local, high school and youth club sports games are.
Sports events are a great opportunity for puppy socialization.The talking, cheering, shouting and all the action on the field, provide a great opportunity for puppy socialization.
The suggestions above are just a few of the possibilities. When you're taking your puppy out and about use your imagination and make the most of your particular environment.
More great chances for socializing your pup also exist here.....
There are many things, or objects, that you should introduce your puppy to as an important part of his socialization experiences.
Some you'll find in your own home or yard, others you'll need to go out looking for!:
Your puppy's socialization program is limited only by your imagination and environment.
Have fun thinking of all the exciting things you can do with your puppy, and be sure to give her plenty of treats and praise whenever she reacts with confidence in a new situation, or when faced with new people or objects.
When you take your puppy out and about there a handful of things which will make these trips more enjoyable and keep him safe.
Also, be sure to clean up after your pup, and don't allow him to be a nuisance or take him places where dogs are not welcome. You want little Fido's socialization experiences to be enjoyable for him, for you, and for anyone (or any pet) that you come across on your adventures.
I hope this article helps you to have fun with those all-important puppy socialization adventures. They're a great way to build and strengthen the relationship between you and your pup, and your hard work will be rewarded when he matures into a confident, happy adult dog that you're proud to be seen with!