One of the most important things you can do when bringing your new puppy into your home is socialization. This is the act of introducing your fur baby to the world in a way that will instill confidence and positive behaviors later on in life.
So many new puppy owners aren’t familiar with this valuable training practice, and the unfortunate result can be adult dogs who are constantly afraid and who act out of that fear with aggressive behaviors.
The prime socialization time for puppies falls between their birth and sixteen weeks of age, as this is the period of development during which puppies absorb a ton of information. Unfortunately, most puppies won’t get all of their shots until they turn 15 or 16 weeks old, so your mission is to figure out how to safely expose your pup to other people and animals without risking exposure to any type of dangerous or life-threatening virus.
So, how can you avoid this and ensure that your precious pup will grow up to become a dog who greets new experiences with abundant joy instead of shivering trepidation? Start by following these simple do’s and don’ts!
Bring the party to your puppy! Invite friends over to play with your puppy in the comfort and safety of your own home. You can control this environment by asking guests to remove their shoes before coming inside, allowing you to keep any contagions as far away from your precious pup as possible. Remember that variety is important! Let your dog visit with people of every shape, color, and size so that he or she can learn that all types of people are friendly. You can also ask your friends who own friendly dogs to bring them to the party so that your pup can learn how to be a good playmate for other dogs.
Let your puppy walk in public places before all of the requisite vaccinations are administered. Most puppy-borne illnesses are contracted via contact with viruses in fecal matter or other bodily fluids. This usually happens when a puppy steps in something and licks his or her paws later. While walking is a no-no for your pup, it’s completely safe for you to carry your fuzzbundle wherever you want!