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The Importance of Socializing Your Puppy!

Updated on July 11, 2009

Socializing your puppy is very important. By socializing your puppy you are providing him with valuable skills that will enable him to feel comfortable around not only other dogs but around human beings as well. It is very important that you socialize your puppy during the first three months of his or her life. They need your guidance in order to gain confidence and to become trusting, friendly canines! I made the mistake of NOT socializing my Australian Shepherd and I am paying for it to this day. Though she is an absolute joy when inside of my home…she becomes a neurotic mess the moment we go outside. I have been told that Australian Shepherds need early socialization…and lots of it! Aussies tend to be nervous dogs; therefore, introducing them to other animals and people is VERY important. I have learned a valuable lesson!  Don't make the mistake I made with my dog…SOCIALIZE!

Allow your puppy to meet and play with children!
Allow your puppy to meet and play with children!

How To Socialize Your New Puppy!

Socializing your new puppy takes time! Be patient as well as consistent! Trust me, in the end you will have a friendly, secure and loving dog. A dog that you will be proud to take to the dog park and show off to your friends and family. Below are some tips to take into consideration when socializing your puppy. Remember, be consistent, be kind and most of all, be patient! Good luck! Woof.

  • Socialization starts at home! When you first get your new friend, allow him or her to explore every room in the house! This will make your puppy feel welcome and comfortable! Plus, it is a good idea for him to smell his new surroundings! If you have other dogs, allow them to become acquainted with their new "brother or sister" in a safe and supervised environment.
  • It is important that your new puppy meets as many new people as possible. Invite friends and family over to your home for a puppy "meet and greet!" Allow your guests to play with your puppy but don't forget to instill good puppy manners! Give gentle reminders (when necessary) that biting and rough play are not always "ok." Never yell or scream at your puppy…this will only create a timid, shy and frightened dog! If your puppy is out of control, take him into another room for a short puppy "time-out."
  • Once your veterinarian gives the "ok," take your puppy to the dog park and allow him or her to socialize with other canines. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of your puppy playing with large dogs that may accidently hurt your small, four- legged friend, then take him or her to a dog park that has a designated "small dog" section.
  • Once your puppy has figured out how to walk on a leash, take him for daily walks! Allow him to meet strangers while on your walks so that he gets used to meeting new people. Carry a small bag of dog treats with you and if possible, ask a stranger to give your puppy a treat (doing this will help your puppy to become comfortable and confident around strangers).
  • It is important that your puppy meet people of all ages (especially children!). If you live in a neighborhood with children, ask them to come over to your yard for a visit (you might want to talk to their parents first!). Have the children play with your puppy and allow them to give your puppy a treat or two. Most likely, the kids will have a great time (after all, who doesn't LOVE a puppy) and your puppy will gain confidence around kids.
  • Finally, if possible, have your mail carrier or delivery man give your puppy a dog treat the next time he comes by. Have your puppy "sit" before you open the door. This teaches your puppy to greet strangers that come to the house in a positive and friendly way and also helps to eliminate barking and jumping. Make it a habit to have your pooch "sit" before opening the door for any guest.

Walk your puppy often! Walks allow your puppy to meet and greet new people! This will help to build confidence!
Walk your puppy often! Walks allow your puppy to meet and greet new people! This will help to build confidence!

Socializing a new puppy is VERY important. Just like kids, puppies learn important life lessons early. So remember to begin the socialization process within the first three to four months of life! Also remember to be patient, kind and consistent! Training and socializing a puppy takes time. If you follow some (if not all) of the tips above, you should have a well socialized and happy dog in no time!

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