Puppy socialization is a very important part of teaching your new pet how to get along in this world. Many dog owners are surprised to learn that quite a few cases of canine aggression could have been prevented if the dog’s owner had only known about this important aspect of dog training.
Why Is Puppy Socialization So Important?
When you expose your dog to lots of different people, different animals, and different places, he learns for himself that new sights, sounds, and people are fun, not scary.
You’ll find that dog socializing is much easier while your pet is still young.You’ll find that the best age for puppy socialization is between the ages of three and twelve weeks. A young dog who has good experiences with new people, other dogs, and even cats will be much friendlier and less fearful of people. This helps to prevent canine aggression towards strangers when he gets older.
But it’s never too late to begin dog socializing. It may take a little longer with an older dog, but you can still use canine socialization in order to help your pooch overcome a fear of strangers and be a happier, more trustworthy friend.
How Is Puppy Socialization Done?
Dog socializing is not that difficult, if you’re willing to make a little effort.
Many dog trainers suggest a puppy preschool. This is a series of group-training classes for puppies and their owners.Usually there will be a couple of dog trainers working with 10 puppies and their people. During these classes, the puppies start to learn basic dog obedience commands like sit, stay, and others.
You may be surprised to learn that the obedience lessons aren’t the most important thing your dog will learn in puppy preschool. The play sessions are where your puppy learns essential social skills.The puppies will be let off their leashes and allowed to play with each other duirng the play sessions. Why is this important?
First, your pup is learning social skills by interacting with other dogs.
Second, you pup will be meeting lots of new people, since there will be a couple of dog trainers and eight or ten other dog owners there. This is a great way for your puppy to learn not to be afraid of new people.
Third, it’s a controlled environment. The dog trainers make sure things don’t get too wild.
Don’t Stop Puppy Socialization Too Soon
Many dog owners make the mistake of thinking that since their dog has been to puppy preschool, their puppy is now socialized. This mistaken idea can lead to problems with aggression in puppies later on.
It’s important to continue to expose your young dog to new faces, new animals, and new places. Sometimes puppies who seemed to be well socialized at a younger age “forget” those early lessons. By the time your dog is between eight months and two years old, he may become fearful of people and start showing puppy aggression towards strangers.
You can learn more about using puppy socialization to prevent future problems with canine aggression by clicking on any link in this article.