Getting a new puppy or even a new older dog is always a great experience for a family. During those first days the new member of your family is adjusting and getting used to everyone and all of the new things. It is at this time that you need to make sure that you are doing everything you can to properly socialize your new family member. Your new pet will encounter many different situations in life and it is better for everyone if he learns how to cope and respond in a healthy and acceptable manner.
Puppies can start to learn socialization skills as early as 2 to 3 weeks after they are born. Most people who get a new puppy get them at about 7 or 8 weeks old and they should start socializing them as soon as possible. Puppies tend to be more fearful and timid up until the time they are 14 weeks old so during this time make sure that you are gentle with them.
While we all know that it is important to socialize a puppy, the fact is that socialization is a skill that should be practiced throughout a dog’s life. Changes in circumstances and situations can affect a dog and a previously friendly and outgoing dog can change into a fearful and threatening dog under different circumstances. That is why it is important to continually socialize your dog and allow him to experience different situations, people and other animals.
Take your dog to parks where there are other animals and let them get acquainted. Make sure that your dog has had his shots beforehand but make sure he has some time with other people and other animals.
Introduce your dog to the people who come to your house the most. Since the mailperson stops by everyday it is a good idea to introduce your dog to him or her.
Anyone who stops by often should know your dog. Also if possible make sure your dog is around as many different people as possible. This will make him more sociable in different situations.
Dogs are naturally pack animals. They lived in the wild in packs and they will recreate the pack hierarchy in their new situation. It is crucial that everyone in the family is seen as a more dominant pack member. That means that when a human speaks the dog listens and obeys. You are the alpha dog and your dog is the follower.
Socialization needs to continue throughout your dog’s life. He needs to continuously meet new people, new dogs and other animals. If not he could become fearful and develop hard-to-resolve problems such as biting and fighting.
Your dog training will be more successful and you and other people will enjoy your pet more if he is properly socialized and well-behaved in the majority of situations.
Kevin Lynch is a devoted dog lover who teaches dog obedience training in the southwestern part of the United States. If you are interested in the best ways house training your puppy, then check out the articles by this professional dog-trainer.