Puppy Socialization

Puppies begin learning at birth, and they are particularly responsive to learning around 13-16 weeks of age. By the time your puppy is 4 months old much of his or her personality has been determined. Early puppy hood is a very critical time for socialization and learning. Therefore, it is the responsibility of breeders, new puppy owners, veterinarians, and trainers to assist in providing experiences with other puppies, dogs, children, adults, and various environmental stimuli.

New puppy owners should take their puppy to a puppy socialization class beginning at 8 weeks of age. This way they can take advantage of this early learning period. Reputable trainers require that all puppies attending puppy classes are current on vaccinations, and at this age puppies should have received their first series of vaccines. Puppy classes usually consist of supervised social activities, exposure to environmental stimuli, learning basic puppy manners, and problem prevention such as chewing, biting, and barking. If puppy classes are not available in your area, or you cannot attend puppy class, please take the opportunity to begin socializing your puppy with children and adults outside of the family. Get your puppy used to a variety of different surface textures, objects, noises, and situations. Touch and handle your puppy’s feet, ears and mouth as much as possible. This will get your puppy accustomed to having his nails trimmed as well as having the ears and mouth examined by your veterinarian. It will also make it easier to brush your puppy’s teeth and give medication.

Puppy socialization is a very critical part of your puppy’s life. It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime chance for your puppy to learn how to be a confident member of society.