Socializing your dog through puppyhood and adolescence is one of the most effective ways to ensure your puppy becomes a friendly and confident adult dog.
The greatest window of learning in a dog’s life starts at about 3 weeks of age and ends between 16 and 20 weeks. This period allows puppies to be exposed to a wide variety of sights, sounds, smells, and sensations without becoming fearful. Puppies who miss out on these experiences often become uncomfortable around unfamiliar things, paving the way for anxiety, fear, and aggression later on down the road.
Adolescent Dog Socialization
Though a dog’s sensitive period of socialization typically ends when the pup is 4- to 5-months old, we recommend continuing to socialize your dog for at least the first year of their life.
Keep Introducing Your Dog to New People
Around humans, dogs typically remain social when continually exposed to unfamiliar people. Continued positive exposure to new people keeps the idea strangers are good news in the forefront of your dog’s mind.
Introduce Your Dog to Other Dogs
There are a variety of resources to accomplish the task of introducing your dog to other dogs: dog parks, play groups, play dates with friends’ dogs, and simple on-leash walks can all help to do this. Without this experience, many dogs can lose their ability to know how to behave appropriately around other dogs.
Adult Dog Socialization
At all stages of a pup’s life, socialization is an important element. When a dog owner brings an adult dog into their home, it’s important to find out early on how socialized your adult dog is. Their initial interaction with you will be telling; are they fearful or aggressive? Does your pup back away when you approach or send warning signals such as a raised tail? When you take them on walks, is your pup nervous when exposed to different sounds and new sights? Does he shy away from people or other dogs? If you see any of these signs, it’s likely he was not socialized well in his early days. But there are several things you can do about socializing adult dogs to make comfortable with other dogs and humans.
Come and Train It K9 offers effective dog socialization through in-home training sessions and at our board and train facilities as well. Give us a call today to discuss your pup’s situation. We’d love the opportunity to help train your dog to be a well-mannered family member.