Whole Dog Journal Tips March 22, 2011

(Socializing Your Puppy or Dog #1) Socializing Your Puppy or Dog: Making a Lifelong Difference

You’d better get out there and get started!  There’s no such thing as overkill when it comes to properly done socialization. You can’t do too much. Pups who are super-socialized tend to assume that new things they meet later in life are safe and good until proven otherwise.

Dogs who are very well-socialized as pups are least likely to develop aggressive behaviors in their lifetimes. Pups who aren’t well-socialized tend to be suspicious and fearful of new things they meet throughout their lives, and are most likely to eventually bite someone.

If your pup comes to you from a socially impoverished environment, you’ll already see the signs of neophobia. You have no time to lose, and you may never be able to make up all the ground he’s lost, but you can make him better than he’d be otherwise.

  • Trainers talk about giving pups “100 new (positive) exposures in the first 100 days.” If your pup is already showing signs of timidity or fear, triple that to 300 exposures in 100 days. And get busy!

For more details and advice on ways to socialize your puppy or dog, purchase Whole Dog Journal’s ebook, Socializing Your Puppy or Dog: Making a Lifelong Difference.