How to Socialize Your Puppy
Gone are the days when there was someone home all day with the family dog. When neighborhoods were filled with kids and other dogs playing in the streets all afternoon. Yesteryear’s puppies seemed to have opportunities to socialize themselves without much conscious thought from their new owner.
Our lives seem much different today with privacy fences separating our houses and streets too busy to allow our children or pets to play near them.
Our schedules take us away from our homes more frequently and our pets are asked to spend longer and longer periods of time alone, something that is very unnatural for them.
As caring owners, it is up to us to take a more proactive role in providing an enriching home environment for our pups. We need to give them stimulating interactive toys to play with when left alone. They need positive play with other friendly dogs and enough exercise to emotionally and physically wear them out at least once each day.
Like human children, puppies experience developmental stages where their minds are virtual sponges, soaking up information and experience from their environment. To raise a happy, well-adjusted puppy, it is important to take advantage of these critical periods by giving them positive exposure to the things we expect them to tolerate as an adult.
This means penciling in time in our busy schedule to give our puppy new experiences. The new puppy needs to visit with strangers, children (even if they have their own), other dogs their own age and well-adjusted adult dogs. They need to experience new and novel things safely. Consider putting them on a leash, showing them an open umbrella, livestock, wheelchairs, etc. All of this must be done in a caring, positive way so that the puppy will have a good experience while at the same time expanding his or her knowledge of the world around it. We must get them used to being handled, groomed, and gently restrained, if necessary. All of these are things that today’s puppy misses by spending hours in unnatural isolation.
Here at Get Real Dog Training we take advantage of a puppy’s critical periods of development by providing a safe environment for puppies to positively experience new things. We maximize the amount of stimuli your puppy can safely and productively be exposed to in our 6 week training course. Our instructors show you how to take advantage of your time so that the things you do with your puppy during your daily routine serve to make your puppy a happy, well-rounded member of your family.
We encourage every new puppy owner to enroll in a puppy class as soon as possible but before 5 months of age.