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Links to excellent training tips

SOCIALIZATION

WHAT I S S O C I A L I Z AT I O N ?

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOUR PUPPY NEEDS BESIDES FOOD!


Socialization is the process during which the puppy develops relationships with

other living beings in its environment. It is literally introducing your puppy to as

many different environments as possible. Socialization is one of the most

important things that you can do for your new puppy besides feeding him!

Dogs that are well socialized are happy, secure, confident pets who will readily

interact with all types of people. A socialized puppy will easily play with a wide

variety of dogs. He is not afraid of most objects and may be cautious about

certain things but he does not panic and he recovers quickly if startled.


WHY IS SOCIALIZATION SO IMPORTANT ?

To reduce the possibility of fearful responses as a puppy grows and matures, it is

essential to expose young puppies to many stimuli (people, places and things,

sounds, smells, events). Early handling and events that occur during the first 2 to

4 months of life, are critical factors in the social development of the dog. Dogs

that receive insufficient exposure to people, other animals, sounds, and new

environments during this time may develop irreversible fears, leading to timidity

or aggression. The number one cause of death among dogs is behavior problems

stemming from a lack of socialization!

PRIMARY SOCIALIZATION. There is a

sensitive period in the development of most

species when they develop social attachments

with their own kind and other species. The events

that occur during this socialization period

determines the puppy’s future social partners, as

well as to what species it feels it belongs. By

recognizing the critical time frame in which canine

socialization develops, you can help to ensure a

healthy social attachment to people and other

animals, including other dogs.

The primary socialization period for dogs begins at

3 weeks of age and is diminishing by 12 weeks.

Peak sensitivity is at 6 to 8 weeks. Beyond 12

weeks there is a tendency to act fearfully towards

new people, animals and situations. Many young

dogs will regress or become fearful again if they

do not receive continued social interaction as they

grow and develop. The 6-8 month period is

another important time for socialization.

To help a healthy social relationship with other

dogs throughout life, dogs should maintain their

social contacts with their mother and littermates

until 6 to 8 weeks of age. They should continue to

have regular social interaction and play sessions

with other friendly dogs after it is taken into a

new home. The puppy would do best if there if it

had regular, sociable playmates in the

neighborhood that it could interact with on a daily

basis.

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