How should you properly socialize your puppy?
Don't force him into a situation he's shy about;
let him meet people, children, and other dogs at his
own pace. His most impressionable "imprint"
period is from 3 weeks to 16 weeks of age; however,
the following socialization exercises must be continued
throughout his adolescent months and adult years as
Even before his vaccines, invite friends and relatives,
particularly young children, to your house often.
Keep a bowl of puppy food by the door so visitors
can treat him when they arrive.
Hold your puppy while you stand in front of a mall
entrance and let passers-by say hello. Go to schools,
shopping centers, nursing homes, and (after vaccinations)
take walks with him in different neighborhoods. Keep
a pocketful of treats to give to adults and children
to give to your pup - this will solidify a positive
association with strangers in his mind.
A pup well-socialized to 6 year olds is not necessarily
well-socialized to 2-year olds; make an effort to
have him meet a very wide variety of children and
NOTE: Never leave a baby or toddler alone with a
puppy or dog of any age. However, your pup needs to
meet many babies and toddlers, so an adult should
treat/praise the pup when holding or standing next
to a small child. Slightly older children (under 10)
often tend to get rough and hurt pups (poking eyes,
pulling tails, jumping on, slapping). Allowing this
is asking for trouble later, so carefully supervise
all of your pup's interactions with your children
and their friends.
Once he's had his Intratrac and 2nd Distemper/Parvo
vaccines, your pup can and should play with other
vaccinated puppies and friendly adult dogs as frequently
Have a "puppy party" at your home with
other pups and their owners.
Bring him to the local park (always on leash) to
play with other friendly dogs. Sign up for a puppy
Bring him to your local pet store. Dog daycare is
also an excellent place for your puppy to get socialized
while you're at work.
When he's playing with pups his own age, he may be
more shy or more aggressive than the others. This
is normal. Try not to pick up a shy pup or scold a
boisterous one; he needs to learn his canine social
skills from the other pups - and believe us, they'll
let him know what's OK and what's not.