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Top Tips for Socializing Your New Puppy

Puppies between the age of 3 weeks to 16 weeks are in their Socialization Stage. During this Stage, it’s critical that you introduce your puppy to a variety of people, animals, sounds and places to ensure proper socialization.

Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Always pair things your puppy considers positive with new experiences:

  • People – Include children, men, women, people of different ethnicities and people wearing and carrying stuff
  • Animals – Dogs and Puppies – introduce and provide play opportunities after you have ensured potential playmates are friendly and display good play skills
  • Puppy classes and puppy socials are controlled environments offering appropriate play opportunities in a sanitary environment
  • Dog Parks can be overwhelming to a young puppy – wait until your puppy is fully vaccinated and well socialized before frequenting your local dog park.
  • Whenever your puppy sees another animal, pair with good things according to your puppy
  • Visit parks and places where you can sit and watch the various people and animals at a comfortable distance for you puppy – don’t forget to pair yums, toys and play with new experiences

2. Introduce your puppy to new places, sights, sounds and smells:

  • Introduce puppy to a variety of surfaces
    • Gravel
    • Tile floors
    • Concrete
    • Carpet
    • Bridges
    • Surfaces that move slightly when stepped on
  • Visit your Veterinary Office and Groomer
    • Visit these locations just for treats and fun
  • Introduce new sounds – things that make noise – rattle, shake or thump
  • Observe your puppy closely upon every new encounter ensuring your puppy is not afraid

Avoid scary situations for your puppy – fear is the easiest thing to install in your puppy, but the hardest to get rid of. If you see your puppy with ears back, tail tucked or avoiding a particular situation, slow down. Let your puppy view what scared him from a distance, generously giving treats each time your puppy perceives what scares him.

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