Socialization and Early Exposure
Quick Tips: Puppy Socialization and Early Exposure
Puppies need appropriate socialization during the sensitive period (between 3-14 weeks of age). A well socialized puppy will grow into a friendly adult dog and socialization will prevent fear-related behavior problems. Socialize puppies to people who are unfamiliar to them. Introduce puppies to dogs who are healthy, vaccinated, and friendly/safe. While socializing, watch the pup’s body language and give them delicious treats.
Also provide pups with gentle exposure to sounds, sights, surfaces, and situations they will experience as adults. The goal during this time is that the puppy has a variety of social interactions and new experiences. The experiences should be positive, not neutral or bad.
Note: If the puppy is becoming more fearful or uncomfortable, consult your veterinarian or a behavior professional.
(Learn more: Puppy Socialization, Early Exposure for Puppies, Canine Body Language)
Take precautions to prevent the spread of disease. This includes sanitization of surfaces and objects, fresh clothing, and using shoe covers. Puppy illness can limit proper socialization, leading to decreased sociability in adulthood.
Steps for Socialization and Early Exposure
Begin in the whelping area with the litter and dam. Expose the puppy to caretakers, as well as new surfaces and objects.