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A What Does Appropriate Socialization (before 4 months of age and preferably before 3 months of age) for Puppies Look Like?

Expose your Puppy to Many of Each: (Make sure the exposure is positive. You can C/T (click and treat) during any of the introductions listed below)

  • a.) Surfaces: grass, dirt, gravel, wood chips, newspaper, etc.
  • b.) Different objects: big balls, small balls, frisbees, squeaky toys, cardboard items, metal items, umbrellas, tents, skis, wheel chairs, skate boards, bikes, baby carriages, coats, sunglasses, hats, purses etc.
  • c.) Locations: friends houses, vet clinics, pet stores, playgrounds, anywhere you can take your dog (Make sure you aren’t going to dog parks and if you go to areas with other dogs carry your puppy).
  • d.) Actions /Challenges: walking down the stairs, running up a ramp, going through a tunnel, climb over obstacles, etc.
  • e.) Eat out of different food bowls: metal, plastic, glass, porcelain, plates, etc.
  • f.) Eaten in different places: backyard, kitchen, living room, etc.
  • g.) Meet many types of people each week: children, elderly, middle aged, teenagers, black people, white people, skinny people, fat people, children, etc. (Throw a party with many people at your house, sit outside of stores like Smith’s with your puppy, etc.) People is the most important one. 100’s of people is best. You can do this easily by throwing low key parties. Standing with your puppy by store entrances and allowing people interact with your puppy.

Your puppy should not be walking in an areas where there is a frequently tracking of dogs (exception puppy class) until your puppy has all of his booster vaccinations (3-4 sets including rabies). Therefore, when you take your dog to the vet, Petco, Petsmart, etc. you should carry your dog.

Your puppy should not go to dog parks until he is at least 6 months of age.

Why Socialize? Socialization is the easiest prevention for anxiety, aggression, and any other behavior problems if it is done positively. Many dogs that develop aggression especially towards men were not socialized enough.

Best Training Wishes!

Johanna Teresi, Owner and Professional Trainer for Four Legged Schoalrs LLC

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