It is extremely valuable for a puppy or dog to socialize with other puppies or dogs. This ensures that your puppy is happy, confident, and well-adjusted in new environments and situations. The best time to socialize your puppy is between 10-16 weeks old when they are young and eager to play with others. As the puppy grows older, it is harder to help them feel comfortable socializing. Despite this, it doesn’t mean that you should stop taking them to socialize with other canines. We have listed some tips to create fun and positive experiences for you and your furry friend.
- Introduce socialization gradually A large number of new pets and people can feel overwhelming for your young puppy. In turn, this may cause your puppy to feel nervous or scared around dogs in the future. Instead, plan a small doggie date or take your puppy to introduce to the neighbors.
- Go on daily walks. The environment outside of your house provides substantial stimuli for your puppy. This includes cars, the mailman, neighborhood dogs to help ease your puppy into their new environment.
- Change it up. Expose your puppy to a wide variety of people, rather than only the individuals in your family. Your canine will grow to be comfortable with your family, yet nervous when meeting new people. When your puppy begins to feel scared, remain confident and calm.
- Take car rides. Even though your puppy may not be socializing with another, car rides provide beneficial stimulus. There are many new environments and smells that they will see when they stick their head out the window. In the beginning, travel short distances to help your pup become comfortable in the car and prevent any potential messes to clean up.
- Attend puppy classes. You may begin taking your puppy to classes when they have begun to receive their vaccinations. Do not hesitate to talk to your vet beforehand. It’s important that you and your pup are safe. When you attend puppy classes, your canine learns basic commands and becomes exposed to new puppies and individuals.
- Don’t force a scared dog. If there is a scenario or environment that is causing your puppy to become nervous, allow your dog to decide what to do. Most often, our dogs rely on their intuition to keep themselves protected against others. Your dog may decide to meet the new dog or walk away. Never force your dog into a situation that they may not want to be a part of because it causes them to become more nervous or skittish.
It takes time, love, and patience to train a well-behaved puppy. Remember practice makes perfect and the more often that you socialize your puppy, the more positive interactions it will encounter. If you’re looking for more tips for you and your puppy, read our previous blogs “Helpful Tips to Housetrain Your Dog” and “Helpful Tips to Teach Your Dog How to Sit”.