Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Do's and Dont's Of Socializing Your Puppy

Gone are the days of leaving your puppy home for the first 6 months of their life for fear of them contracting a disease.   It was common practice to keep puppies isolated at home until well into their adolescence.    Not only would puppies be kept away from people but owners were often advised to keep them away from other dogs too.  YIKES!! it's no wonder we have raised so many fearful and reactive dogs.    We know that lack of proper socialization has a lifetime of negative consequences.

This is the AVSAB Position Statement on Puppies and Socialization with regard to Vaccinations.

Early socialization is important and needs to be done in a way that allows your puppy to experience the world in a safe and comfortable manner.  Here are some Do's and Don'ts when it comes to socialization:

  • Do take your puppy to a group class once they have received 2 of their 4 puppy shots
  • Don't enroll in a class that is overcrowded and poorly supervised
  • Do arrange playtime for your puppy with other puppies and dogs
  • Don't pick poorly socialized dogs or puppies as playmates
  • Do expose your puppy to riding in the car in a crate or seat belt
  • Don't allow your puppy to ride on your lap or unrestrained
  • Do let your puppy meet LOTS of new people of varying ages, sizes, etc
  • Don't force your puppy to be handled by someone they are afraid of
  • Do expose your puppy to new places and environments
  • Don't overload them with multiple trips in one day, keep outings short and sweet
  • Do make visits to your Vets office to be petted and receive treats
  • Don't use a Vet who uses harsh handling methods 
  • Do educate yourself about puppies and dogs
  • Don't believe everything you see on TV
The following Chart explains the Developmental Stages that puppies go through from birth thru 2 years of age.

The socialization process is a marathon not a sprint!  Take your time, enjoy spending time with your puppy, they grow up quickly.

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