This is a BIG very IMPORTANT question that you as a new puppy owner should know about.
This is a BIG very IMPORTANT question that every breeder, vet, and trainer should tell each of their clients when they get a new puppy.
What is the one BIG word we as professional dog trainers need to tell new puppy owners?
Yes, that is the word and that is what needs to be done. The average new puppy owner doesn’t have a clue what that means and the ones that have heard about socialization think that taking the puppy to the pet store once a month is enough.
So here we go, I am going to tell you how to have a dog that grows up to be a happy, friendly dog that you can take around other people, kids and dogs when it becomes an adult.
First however let me explain that the period of socialization for a puppy is from birth to 20 weeks of age. This is the period of time that you have to socialize your dog. If your pup is not socialized during this period, it will start showing aggression usually between 12 and 24 months of age. That period can actually extend to 36 months on occasion.
When your dog is about 10 weeks of age and has had its third round of shots you need to start exposing your pup to new people, kids and other puppy friendly dogs in new places.
I tell my clients to grab the dog, get in the car and go someplace new. For example, stand in front of the local grocery store as if you are waiting for your spouse or a friend to come out. People can’t resist a cute puppy and they will come over to ask you questions, usually “can I pet your puppy” and you respond with a big YES, please do.
If there are kids with them that is a double win because now the puppy is being exposed to children as well. In fact, I like to have some treats so the kids can give it to my pup.
Besides being exposed to these new adults and kids they are also getting exposure to new noises and the hustle and bustle of people coming from and going to the store.
I always tell my clients to do this 3 times a week and be sure to go to different places not just to that one store.
If you want your dog to be good with other dogs in the future, they need to meet some dogs. The question is always how to I find a dog or two that is puppy friendly. Simple ask family, friends and co-workers if they have a dog that is puppy friendly. When you find that particular dog make sure that it is current on all its vaccinations. We do want to protect your puppy from any diseases and especially parvo.
I have raised several puppies over the years using this method and have NEVER had an issue with parvo.
If you will follow these steps through week 20 and then continue to expose your dog to other people and dogs on a regular basis you will have a happy, friendly dog that is welcome everywhere. Remember formal training for your pup should start when it is 4 months old. This is the age that they are like little sponges and eager to learn.
If you don’t take the time to do socialize your new dog, you will be seeking the help of a canine behavior specialist later. I see that person on a daily basis.
Good luck and enjoy that new puppy.
If you have more questions about this subject help is as near as your phone, simply give me a call.
About Wayne: Wayne Booth is owner of which is headquartered in Nashville, TN but serves clients all over the U.S.. If you have a dog with aggression, behavior problems or simply needs training feel free to contact him.
Wayne has also been teaching people how to become Professional Dog Trainers since 1990 and he is the Training Director of Canine Behavior Specialists Network at www.K9-University.com
Until next time,
P.S. If you have an aggressive dog please be sure to visit www.DogAggressionExperts.com for help…
Please remember we can help you with dog training or problem solving no matter where you are located. In fact we have clients all over the U.S. simply visit www.CanineBehaviorSpecialists.com for more information and the give us a call.