Have you recently adopted a puppy? Congratulations! You’re in for some adorable moments as you start out on this beautiful journey of love and friendship with your canine pal. Little Fido has lots to learn in his first year. He’ll need to be housebroken and taught basic doggy obedience. Socialization is another crucial aspect of good puppy care. In this article from Fairfield Animal Hospital, your Cypress, TX veterinary clinic, you’ll read about socializing your puppy.
What is Socialization?
Socializing is the term for exposing your pup to new faces, places, and stimuli. The things Fido experiences when he’s little will be stored away in his memory, and used as a reference during his adult life. Proper socialization is crucial for helping puppies grow into friendly, well-behaved adult dogs.
When To Socialize
There is a very specific time frame for socialization. Puppies should be socialized when they are between 3 and 12 weeks old. The window closes when puppies are around 18 weeks. This period is crucial because it is when dogs form many of their opinions about the world. Much of your canine pal’s personality will be shaped during this stage. Dogs that haven’t been properly socialized are often wary of strangers and unfamiliar situations, and are more likely to develop behavioral issues, such as aggression.
How To Socialize
This is the fun part! Take little Fido to parks, and sit with him on a bench. Chances are, people will want to pet him: after all, puppies are pretty hard to resist! Offer plenty of treats, so your canine pal learns to associate people with good things. Your furbaby also needs to interact with his own kind. Make some playdates with friends or family members that have gentle, friendly dogs. Just be sure that Fido’s friends have had their shots, and that your vet has given the all-clear.
What To Watch For
During socialization, keep a close eye out for indications that your puppy feels scared or uneasy. You don’t want to overwhelm the little guy, as that could make the whole socialization process backfire. If Fido feels frightened, he may lick his lips, try to hide, or snuggle closer to you. If you see any of these signs, end the session and try again another day.
Do you have questions about puppy care? Contact us at Fairfield Animal Hospital, your Cypress, TX vet clinic, anytime!