Socializing Your Puppy

The experts used to tell us to wait until our puppies were four months old before taking them out in public. Now we know better! The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (the experts!) tell us to start as early as seven weeks to take puppies to safe places and to expose them to safe puppies and adult dogs. In fact, they state that the danger of dogs being euthanized due to behavior problems resulting from lack of early socialization is much greater than the danger of a puppy getting sick.

So get that first set of puppy shots and then take your puppy to watch, from a safe distance, kids at a playground. Take her to a clean pet store and let her sniff around. This can be a great place to practice automatic sits when greeting people. And make sure she gets to play with other puppies and friendly adult dogs. It will continue that important learning that started with her mom and littermates about bite inhibition. Plus, dog kids, just like human kids, need play time with their peers. Best of all for you, after any of these activities, you will have a happy, tired puppy when you come home!

Joanne OmetzComment