What Is Socialization?

You have just added a new puppy to the family and want to be sure that you start off on the right paw.  People will often tell you to socialize your puppy as soon as possible.  Many people think that means to bring your dog around other dogs.

This is part of the equation but really it means a lot more.

To properly socialize your dog, you need to let your dog experience life. You should socialize your pup by bringing her around new people and bringing her to new places.  Get your pup out in the world and experiencing noises, moving objects, the outdoors.  Put your dog in the car and drive to fun places (not only the vet:).  The more socialized your dog is as a pup the better adapted to life he will be.

Many new puppy owners decide to enroll their pup in a group puppy class right away.  Group classes can be beneficial for socializing around other puppies, but, it may be better to wait till they have had some basic puppy training first.  Puppies have a very short attention span and get distracted easily.  It is difficult to get a puppy to learn something new in this environment.  It is recommended that you work with your dog at home and teach basic commands in a low distraction environment before trying this in a group setting.  Then when your dog is a bit more advanced, he will really benefit from a group setting and listening to you with distractions.

If you choose to wait or not join a group class, one of the best ways to socialize your dogs with other dogs is to set up a play date.