Refining Dog Husbandry and Care: Part 5: Socialization, Habituation and Training

Scientific Journal Articles

In common with other mammals, the social and physical conditions to which a dog is exposed during its early life can have an enormous impact on its developmental process. Attempts have been made to determine the precise ages during which this exposure is important. In fact, it is probably not helpful to place limits, as animals continually interact with their environment and are always capable of learning. Nonetheless, puppies between approximately 3 and 14 weeks of age (the ‘primary socialization period’) are particularly sensitive to their social and physical environment. During this time they become familiar with the ‘members of the pack’, learn to communicate satisfactorily and behave appropriately within the group; they also explore and discover the environment in which they are living.

Prescott, M. J., Morton, D. B., Anderson, D., Buckwell, A., Heath, S., Hubrecht, R., Jennings, M., Robb, D., Ruane, B., Swallow, J., & Thompson, P. (2004). Refining Dog Husbandry and care. Laboratory Animals, 38(1_suppl), 1–2.


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Topic(s): Behavior, Research and Teaching, Socialization