|T here is substantial proof that unsocialized
dogs may be shy, nervous, timid, tend to be noisy, can be aggressive,
difficult to train, have trouble adapting to new situations, and
in the extreme, may live in a constant state of apprehension and
fear. It is critical to the health of puppies and dogs that they
be exposed to the ‘outside world’, which includes other
dogs, people, children, and new situations. Puppies come with a natural
socialization window, this window closes somewhere between 4 and
5 months of age. During this period, it is imperative that the puppy
be acclimated to various people, places, and things. By exposing
the puppy to different things or situations, you reduce the chances
of aggressive or anxious behaviors in maturity.
Owners can conquer socialization challenges with 2 or 3 quick
outings per week to a pet friendly store, park or group classes.
These friendly situations provide abundant opportunities for the
puppy to gain confidence.
The health benefits of early socialization outweigh the risks.
A healthy vaccinated puppy can begin exposure to other healthy
vaccinated dogs as early as 9 weeks. Dogs need to learn to social
language of other dogs at an early age this involves full play
and contact. Nobody wants to wind up with a dog that cannot be
walked down the street without barking and lunging at every dog
If your puppy is exposed to the same 5 children repeatedly that
doesn’t guarantee his acceptance of all children. Exposing
your dog to people is a concern, dogs need help with generalization.
Some behavioral experts recommend that puppies meet 100 people
and play with 50 dogs by the time they are 12 weeks of age. Not
only do you need expose the dog but you also need to make exposure
very rewarding and ensure that you don’t overwhelm the dog.
An easy way for the new puppy owner to begin this process is
to think about
what he might like to do with the puppy in future and start doing
now rather than later.