A 2011 study published in The Veterinary Record examined the behavior of dogs who were separated from the litter at different ages. Its sets the foundation for how he responds to the world and everything in it. If she’s calm while doing all these things, then there’s no need for extra treats. Whatever the reason, socializing adult dogs is quite a bit different from socializing puppies. and body language to overt physical signs, puppies have a plethora of ways to show us they are afraid or anxious. If you notice your puppy is constantly fearful of, aggressive towards, or over-the-top enthusiastic about things despite continued work, consider working with a professional trainer. Bringing a puppy to the pre-K class and passing the puppy from student to student won’t guarantee the puppy is always great with kids. These are classes designed especially for puppy training and early socialization. Training is immensely valuable, but there will always be time for that later. Punishing or pushing a fearful puppy are two surefire ways of destroying a relationship before it has a chance to flourish. A good rule of thumb is 100 new experiences in the first 100 days. Socialization With Other Dogs & Animals To optimize a puppy’s social skills, good things must happen when puppy meets other dogs for the first time. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. One of the most significant fear periods occurs when a puppy is 8-10 weeks of age. According to the “trainer,” it was important for the fearful puppy’s owner to not give in or coddle him. Try to ensure that you’re hitting each item on the checklist in a few different environments and at different times of day. So keep these two things in mind: Feces and close contact with infected (unvaccinated) dogs. The good news is that this whole guide has been put together with unvaccinated puppies in mind. Critical Socialization Window for Puppies, Top 5 Mistakes New Owners Make When Socializing a Puppy. I’ve talked about this before when it comes to buying a puppy. Your email address will not be published. At the beginning you mention that you wrote it with unvaccinated puppies in mind. One great way to help socialize a puppy is to attend puppy kindergarten classes. Like the exposure method, there’s a lot of wisdom here! Want to take these to go? Puppy Socialization Tip #2: Start early. Socialization is the first step in raising a well-behaved dog. Your email address will not be published. By But neither approach is quite right for most puppies. Have patience and give space and time to a more reserved puppy. With a BS in Microbiology, an MBA, and a passion for writing and big, slobbery dogs, Stephanie is committed to serving large and giant breed dogs by empowering, educating, and inspiring the people who love them. the Fear Free Podcast Series. As we mentioned above, there are three core factors that make up your dog’s behavior: Try as you might, you can’t change your dog’s genetics. What the critical socialization window is and how we can make the most of it. Nutritional Supplements and Medications For Dogs. Being thrown into a strange place with new people, threatening noises and unfamiliar surroundings can be traumatic for many puppies, particularly during this period. Revisit low-scoring stimuli encounters at a lower intensity level. [READ: Puppy Teething 101: The Ultimate Survival Guide for Large Breed Puppies]. How to Socialize Your Puppy at Home While Social Distancing – 15 Creative Ways (THAT WORK!) She travels full time with her border collie Barley and her boyfriend, Andrew. Calmly pass by children, other dogs, and people on walks. Allow the puppy to come to him versus the kids bombarding the puppy. I had the hernia repaired during her spaying. While we provide information resourced and canine education, the content here is not a substitute for veterinary guidance. After 16 weeks, your puppy is genetically pre-programmed to become wary of unfamiliar things and that makes it much harder to shape him into an easy-going, friendly, “bomb-proof,” big dog. Keep in mind that if your puppy isn’t eating (especially if she’s normally a chow hound), the situation is probably far too exciting, scary, or stressful. Socializing is always a better late than never situation, so it’s never too late to get started! This post contains affiliate links from which I may receive a small compensation. Why waiting for vaccines does more harm than good. After 16 weeks, your puppy is genetically pre-programmed to become wary of unfamiliar things and that makes it much harder to shape him into an easy-going, friendly, “bomb-proof,” big dog. Humans have taken advantage of the socialization period in dogs to expose them to other people, other animals, new environments and experiences. She liked other dogs but rarely plays with them. “The Puppy Socialization Period (4 to 16 weeks) is the most critical period for influencing a dog’s temperament, character, behavior and avoiding problems.” [, “Puppies can start puppy socialization classes as early as 7-8 weeks of age. In a rush? “The Puppy Socialization Period (4 to 16 weeks) is the most critical period for influencing a dog’s temperament, character, behavior and avoiding problems.” . I do my best to make her feel OK, and we get out of there. I have seen firsthand the best and the worst in Mastiff temperament, and I can tell you, a Mastiff with a bad temperament can be a frightening experience. I’m a big hiker, so having a dog who can hike happily is really important. There are a few puppy socialization tips to keep in mind as you and your not-yet-fully vaccinated puppy venture out into his/her exciting new world. Avoid populated places with strange dogs. 2: Re-visit with more distance. Did we miss a stimuli that you think is important? Thank you for this helpful article! With an extremely fearful and reactive puppy, these first-time puppy parents needed help. The goal for a socialization walk is to create calm and positive associations with different things your puppy sees, smells, hears, and otherwise experiences. If you freak out over the puppy freaking out, you can expect more freaks to come out in the future. 5 Comments. Then you can try again later with an easier version of that problem scenario. If she wants to move away, that’s fine. She learns you’ll let her move away and support her with petting or treats if she needs. [. You can’t change your pup’s genetics, and training can come later. If you wait to put a collar and leash on your big dog until they are 4 months old, good luck! Well-run puppy classes are … Puppy Teething 101: The Ultimate Survival Guide for Large Breed Puppies, 15 Signs You Have a Scared Dog & What To Do, Kittens and Puppies – Prevention is Easier than Treatment, Puppy Socialization: Stop Fear Before it Starts, Bringing Up Baby (Socialization for Young Pups), AVSAB Position Statement On Puppy Socialization, Top 10 things you need to know about AAHA’s Canine Vaccination Guidelines, I’m Okay, You’re Okay A gentle hand or tasty treat doesn’t reinforce fear, it reduces it by Patricia McConnell, Help Your Puppy Grow Up to Be a Happy Dog. Good socialization provides a positive experience for the dog. On Puppy Socialization The PrimAry And mOST imPOr TAnT time for puppy socialization is the first three months of life.1, 2 During this time puppies should be exposed to as many new people, animals, stimuli and environments as can be achieved safely and without causing over-stimulation manifested as excessive fear, with-drawal or avoidance behavior. If people ask me politely, I might let them approach her to pet her. K9ofMine.com does not intend to provide veterinary advice. Pet stores are great for socialization, but keep your puppy in a cart until fully vaccinated. Puppy socialization right is the single most important thing to get right to help your puppy become the best dog he can be for you and your family. [READ: Puppy Fear Periods: The 5 Things that Can Save Your Puppy! Check your emotions and be calm. , you will want to know what to look for and how to help your puppy through it. Those things puppies … But those of you with happy-go-lucky, people-crazy Lab puppies should try to curb that over-excited greeting behavior now. Subscribe to get all the latest updates and news from Big Dog Mom™ right in your inbox! What did you find most interesting about socializing your puppy? The same people will probably come each week, and you will be in a set environment for the most part. There is NO ADDED COST to you should you use these links. Not BEFORE. Aim to be more interesting than the world around you and you will have a puppy who is ready to LEARN. It is from this time until 16 weeks that present the absolute best time to positively introduce your puppy to new people, animals, and situations that you would like him to accept as a mature big dog. As a new or existing big dog owner, whether you have acquired your big dog through purchase or by adopting a rescue dog, it is your responsibility to adequately socialize your dog so that he/she doesn’t present a danger to others around you. Every time my puppy looks at something and then checks back in with me, she gets a treat. Both methods focus primarily on meeting other humans and dogs while potentially neglecting exposing your puppy to other important stimuli such as: Socialization is not just about meeting people and dogs. A puppy will begin to … Allowing Strangers to Hold, Hug and Pet the Puppy Inappropriately. Puppy Training, Dog Training, Dog Training and Canine Behavior. In the ideal version, realistic version, and somewhat unlikely version of your puppy’s life, what is she most likely to need to deal with on a semi-regular basis? Adult dogs who will reprimand/correct a puppy gently – use a dog that you know well who has experience with puppies to keep things safe. May not eat food. Socializing your new puppy is one of the most impactful actions you can take to improve her life! So often I see people dragging their leashed puppy to greet new people, ignoring obvious signs of fear, or, even worse, scolding the puppy for fearful behaviors. Same route, same people, same smells…. The Problem Here: This won’t work, as I explained above, if your puppy has bad experiences. This entire experience was as traumatizing to me as it was the desperate puppy. Another commonly suggested approach is the (also well-meaning) advice to have everyone who meets your puppy feed your puppy. Many shelter dogs are relinquished (and even ultimately euthanized) for behavioral problems. Get help from a canine behaviorist and positive dog trainer if the fear is extreme and not getting better. The range of people in your puppy socialization classes will be small. She did meet some dogs on walks but there was no play. However, what people claim is “teaching my puppy how to be nice” or “helping my puppy get over it,” effectively destroys any hope of a positive relationship with their dog in the future. And once that relationship is damaged, or that bond is broken, it’s sometimes difficult or impossible to repair.” . Vaccinate WHILE you socialize. In summary, if you have a fearful puppy you SHOULD: 2. , I discuss these periods in detail, so I encourage you to read that if you are unfamiliar with the term. And one final point to all my fellow big dog moms and dads out there. Kayla Fratt 4. Let’s discuss the two main socialization methods, and I’ll explain why I actually recommend a combination of the two. I try to pack in most of my puppy’s expected adult life into their beginnings. With the size and strength of a small horse, a 16 week old large or giant breed puppy is a force to be reckoned with. Ultimately, you’ll want to talk to your vet about what areas are or are not safe for your unvaccinated pup. According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), puppies should be vaccinated every two to four weeks between the ages of 6 and 16 weeks with the final puppy vaccines given no earlier than 16 weeks of age. Written permission is required to reproduce any images or words in either partial form or in its entirety. …The socialization period, or the first three months of a puppy’s life, is really a time when we can make a big difference in terms of future behavior. People can’t help themselves. Popular opinion holds that a puppy should not be taken … You can add or adjust to your puppy socialization checklist as new issues come up. Puppy ran away, hid, growled, or struggled. I have found a short demonstration of harmlessness can help an unsure puppy. By subscribing to my newsletter, you consent to receive new post updates and occasional promotional emails related to Big Dog Mom. The way a puppy is socialized is just as important. …The socialization period, or the first three months of a puppy’s life, is really a time when we can make a big difference in terms of future behavior. – **VIDEO**. Do you want a “dog park dog” who can basically play with anyone that comes his way? If she can look back at the scary thing, she gets treats. We back up a bit. No pressure, right? Confidently walk across grates on the street and ignore plastic bags that blow in the wind. However, if your puppy is ten weeks old, take advantage of this valuable opportunity and get cracking with socialization as soon as possible! The third big mistake new puppy owners make is picking their puppy up too early – either in the middle of a fear period, or earlier than 8 weeks of age. All puppies go through fear periods. So what happens when there are new people, new smells, new adventures? If you have a pup who is already outside the critical puppy socialization window, don’t throw your hands in the air and give up. “More dogs and cats lose their lives due to behavioral concerns than due to all combined infectious and non-infectious diseases out there. Share your puppy socialization experiences in the comments! People have no self-control when it comes to the power of a puppy. Your ownership of the puppy is inconsequential to the people around you who feel compelled to force themselves into your puppy’s space with little regard for anything beyond their selfish desire for the momentary fix of puppy breath. affects dogs’ gastrointestinal tracts and is spread by direct dog-to-dog contact and contact with contaminated feces (stool), environments, or people. In Puppy Fear Periods: The 5 Things that Can Save Your Puppy!, I discuss these periods in detail, so I encourage you to read that if you are unfamiliar with the term. The prevailing wisdom in progressive dog training circles these days strikes a balance between the above two methods. Consider that nearly everything around your puppy during this period is an opportunity for learning. And while distemper is primarily transmitted through airborne exposure (sneezing or coughing) to the virus from an infected dog or wild animal, it can also be transmitted by shared food and water bowls and equipment. Ultimately, this support can give her confidence and help make her braver! The fifth and final mistake new puppy owners make when it comes to puppy socialization is not providing enough uniquely stimulating experiences. They are learning which people, places and things are trustworthy. You know as a new owner I don’t want to make any mistake to socialize for my puppies. This time is also a great opportunity to bond with your dog and create a loving, connected relationship. What is Dog Socialization. Puppy calmly engaged with the object or person, even doing well without food. If children are present, have them sit down and be still if possible. All Big Dog Mom images and words copyrighted unless otherwise credited. Even puppies who were confident and easy going on a temperament test at 8 weeks will go through this period of insecurity. I think I got it. Puppy Socialization Tip #3: Puppies should be kept with their dam and siblings until 10 - 12 weeks old. Not BEFORE. (0-8 weeks) and continue with daily exposure to new things. Socialization is the only one of these factors that is on a timeline, and it will be much harder to “re-do” socialization when your dog is an adult and problems have already developed. If you begin to notice that your puppy has particular problems with specific stimuli (for example, moving objects or men with beards), start focusing more on that. All dogs go through what’s called a “critical socialization period,” where the young puppies are more accepting of new things. It could teach the puppy that kids are loud, rude, fast-moving, and grabby. Unfamiliar Dogs and those who play well A dog who is well balanced but does not want a puppy in his space With puppies who play well (remember time outs for over arousal) Type of Habituation & Specific Socialisation M T W T F S S Other species, cats, hamsters, rabbits (perhaps in a pet shop) Dog socialization is the process of exposing a puppy to members of their own species in order for them to become more interactive. Puppy kindergarten classes are a great way for puppies as young as eight weeks old to meet other dogs and people, provided it is in a controlled environment. Do not force a puppy to greet anyone he’s unsure of. These are finite periods of time in a puppy’s life when they are particularly impressionable and when a single negative experience can have a lasting impact. Dog socialization is the practice of acclimating your dog to other people and pets to help him better behave in these types of situations. Then a well-run puppy socialization play group at a professional training facility may be a great option for you. “Socialization is a behavioral investment, like putting pennies in the bank.”. Puppy socialisation can also help puppies have a better relationship with their owners and become used to being in a range of environments and scenarios. With a mission “to take the pet out of petrified” Fear Free Certified® professionals have the knowledge and tools to not only look after a pet’s physical wellbeing but their emotional wellbeing as well. Expert dog trainer, Meagan Karnes, the founder and head trainer at The Collared Scholar, provides some tremendous insight into the power of playing with your dog. Holding her back by the collar or harness, Lifting skin on neck, gently poking (as if vaccinating), Bendy plastic (like a mat for under an office chair or a kiddie pool), Teeter-totters or other wobbly agility equipment, Bosu ball or other rolly, squishy surface, Grates (you can use your crate or exercise pen), Inside dog-friendly buildings like Home Depot or Lowe’s, Outdoor, dog-friendly patios (be careful of overbearing other dogs and people). Socialization – on the other hand – has a very short window where it will be most effective during puppyhood. Thanks! That guy had the strangest hat ever, but he … Many dogs are more nervous in dim light, so encountering stimuli at that time of day can be an advanced addition! Don’t think of the critical socialization period like a school period or lunch break: there’s no definite start or beginning, really. The purpose of puppy school is to give your young dog a chance to play with other young dogs of varying breeds, so he will learn to view other dogs as friends, not enemies. A puppy may be more easygoing somewhere like a dog park than an adult dog. In fact, this method at its worst can make a shy puppy aggressive. Choose your pup’s grown-up playmates with great care. Learn how your comment data is processed. There’s a lot of advice out there about how to socialize a puppy. Vaccinate WHILE you socialize. In other words, what are the things that: We’ve built a comprehensive socialization checklist below, but you should focus specifically on the areas that are most likely to be a big part of your dog’s life. Download your FREE Puppy Socialization Checklist – 50 Ideas for Socializing Your Puppy the Right Way! In fact, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior believes that it should be the standard of care for puppies to receive such socialization before they are fully vaccinated. For your pup to grow into a confident, well balanced dog, early socialization is a must. If you have a puppy that is ready to explore the world, let him and encourage his curiosity and confidence. They compared adult dogs taken between 30-40 days ( 4-6 weeks) with those taken after 8 weeks. If the socialization window typically ends by 16 weeks but vaccines aren’t finished until then, I’m still unsure how to safely socialize an unvaccinated puppy with other dogs. All puppies should receive the core vaccines of canine distemper, adenovirus 2, canine parvovirus, parainfluenza virus, and rabies virus. Waiting Until the Puppy is Fully Vaccinated, How to Mitigate the Risk Before a Puppy Is Fully Protected. If your puppy is more on the aloof/nervous side, you may want to let her go say “hi” to strangers more often (if she wants) to encourage that behavior. Proactively socialising your puppy is very important. , and puppy socialization before 16 weeks. . © Copyright 2020 by K9 Of Mine / Marrsipan Media LLC |. This method is exemplified by the common maxim of “exposing your puppy to 100 people in 100 days.”. Starting at about 21 to 28 days, puppies are able to see and hear and, as such, are taking everything in around them and learning all the time. It’s a bit fuzzy exactly when things start and end, and it’s a bit different for each individual! Puppy Socialization Tip #5: Variety is KEY to raising a bomb-proof dog. Use plenty of food, and reassuring and happy words. Puppies are sponges. What are your goals with your dog? She owns her own dog training business, Journey Dog Training and holds a degree in biology from Colorado College. She has decades of experience as a big dog owner, over 30 years of which has been devoted to health, nutrition, and behavior of large and giant breed dogs. Method 1: The “100 People in 100 Days” Mass Exposure Method. examined the behavior of dogs who were separated from the litter at different ages. Waiting Until the Puppy is Fully Vaccinated. Try to keep calm and enjoy the process. It should be an enriching and positive experience for your puppy. It was a weird floor surface, but we were able to play cool games on it. for more tips on how to successfully raise a large or giant breed puppy into a bomb-proof big dog. Something, I discuss these periods in detail, so I encourage you to read that if have. Current on all vaccinations lot of wisdom here will somehow reinforce or encourage the behavior of who... 13 min read February 14, what a great dog puppy socialization 5 Comments from you as he/she experiences the new puppy owner puppy... 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