From around 8 weeks to about 16 weeks, your pup goes through a socialization period. During that time the exposure to other puppies, people and the environment shapes their personality and how they will react to things as an adult. As puppies they are naturally curious and will want to explore. That’s how they learn about their environment. Socializing them as a puppy and through to adulthood is one of them best ways to ensure that they become a confident, stress free adult dog.
Here are some of the tips you try to find new experiences for them:
- Baby steps: You can start by slowly introducing your new puppy to the people in your family. Let it explore your household and learn to get ahold of the new environment and build trust in you.
- Try different locations
Once your puppy is more settled and comfortable at home, you may want to start taking your pups to experience different environments, for instance
- Pet Cafes – there are many pet-friendly cafes around, all you have to do is google and start bringing your furry kids to café hop around.
- Dog park/ Dog run – ask other children and strangers in the park to give your puppy a pet. Let them run around, mingle and be free in the dog run.
- Pet Shops – You may want to consider bringing your furkid along to the stores, you’ll probably be able to meet new dogs and pick up some new toys
- Dog parties – connect with the community and participate in their events and parties
- Obedience classes:
Obedience group classes are great for meeting other dogs and learning some skills together. Even if your dog has been taught basic obedience, group classes will let them get used to meeting with other dogs and learn not to be distracted by them.
- Exposure to sight and sound
You can introduce your puppy to different and loud noises slowly such as thunder, engine sound, sirens, doorbells phone ringing, etc. You can also introduce your puppy to various animals big or small, not limited to dogs, for example cats, chickens, rabbits, birds, etc.
Remember that it is never too late to polish your dog’s social skills, but you don’t have to force your dog into any situation they don’t want to be in. Just let them explore around naturally in their own pace, and have fun with them making new friends and new dogs around.