Socialization. We hear this word often, but what does it mean?
Socialization is how puppies (key word here is PUPPIES) learn about their world including everyone and everything around them. How they perceive sounds, smells, touch, people, children, objects, surfaces, other animals, is learned very early in their life.
The socialization period for puppies (again, key word is PUPPIES) is between 3-12 weeks! Puppies that are not socialized at a young age can become fearful, anxious, aggressive, or develop troublesome behaviors as they become adults.
According to Puppy Start Right: Foundation Training for the Companion Dog– Kenneth M. Martin ,DVM & Debbie Martin, RVT,VTS (Behavior), CPDT-KA, KPA CTP:
- “Puppies must be properly socialized before 16 weeks of age.”
- “Puppies become progressively more fearful between 12 to 16 weeks of age with the demarcation of the socialization period”
- “The socialization period is the most influential learning period of a dog’s life with a lifelong effect on his personality and how he reacts to people, other animals and environments.”
What does this mean?
If you have or are getting a new puppy- YES you want to enroll in training as soon as possible! Every week you have your puppy you can be providing tons of positive experiences for him. Through our puppy classes you will learn how to socialize your puppy to set him up to be confident, happy and well behaved in his adult life.
- Positive experiences cannot be forced upon a puppy. They must be able to approach, explore and process at their own pace.
- They must feel safe at all times.
- They must have the ability to retreat or exit if they need distance or to find a safe place.
- Puppies should have hundreds of positive exposures every week.
- Puppies are literal sponges and they will soak in good information as well as the bad. Bad experiences can and often do last throughout their lifetime.