The Importance of Socializing Your Puppy
A properly socialized puppy is a well-adjusted dog and makes a great companion. A socialized dog is not frightened by people or places and does not outwardly show aggression when put in an unfamiliar environment. An un-socialized dog is usually untrustworthy and an unwanted liability. They often have a tendency to bite or nip out of fear. More often than not, they instigate fights with other dogs. They are difficult to train and are generally unpleasant to be around. Unsocialized dogs cannot adapt to new situations and a simple routine visit to the vet or a dog park can become a nightmare. Don’t let this happen to you and your dog. Start socializing your new puppy now and start developing a healthy relationship with your dog.
Socialization most easily occurs before the puppy is 3 months old. Any later than that and it becomes a difficult and time-consuming process that very few owners have the time, energy, money or patience to cope with. Most veterinarians agree that that the socialization period lasts up to about 12 weeks (3 months) of age.
The Importance of Socializing Your Puppy – The Must Do’s
Make sure that each of the following events is pleasant and non-threatening. It’s better to go too slow and make certain that your puppy is not frightened or injured than to rush and force your pup to meet new things and people.
- Take your puppy for short, frequent rides in the car. Stop the car and let your puppy watch the world go by through the window.
- Introduce your puppy to umbrellas, bags, boxes, the vacuum cleaner, etc. Encourage your puppy to explore and investigate his environment.
- Invite friends over to meet your pup. Include men, women, youngsters, oldsters, different ethnic backgrounds, etc.
- Invite friendly, healthy, vaccinated dogs, puppies and even cats to your home to meet and play with your new puppy. Take your puppy to the homes of these pets, preferably with dog-friendly cats.
- Carry your pup to shopping centers, parks, school playgrounds, etc; places where there are crowds of people and plenty of activity.
- Get your puppy accustomed to seeing different and unfamiliar objects.
- Introduce your puppy to new and various sounds. Loud, obnoxious sounds should be introduced from a distance and gradually brought closer.
- Accustom your puppy to being brushed, bathed, inspected, having its nails clipped, teeth and ears cleaned and all the routines of grooming and physical examination.
- Introduce your puppy to stairs, his own collar and leash. Introduce anything and everything you want your puppy to be comfortable with and around.
The Importance of Socializing Your Puppy – The Don’ts
- Do not force or rush your puppy. Let your puppy take things at his own pace. Your job is to provide the opportunity.
- Do not allow the experience to be harmful, painful or excessively frightening. This can cause lifetime phobias in your dog.
- Do not do too much at one time. Young puppies need a lot of sleep and tire quickly. It is much more productive to have frequent and very brief exposures than occasional prolonged exposures.
- Do not put your puppy on the ground where unknown animals have access. This is where your puppy can pick up diseases. Wait until your puppy’s shots are completed.
- Do not reward fearful behaviour. It’s normal for the puppy to show some signs of apprehension when confronting anything new and different.
- Do not wait. Your puppy is only a puppy for so long. Don’t say ‘tomorrow’ when the time is ‘today’!
Socialization and puppy training are of utmost importance as this is the most important and critical time in your dog’s development. What you do and do not do right now will affect your dog’s behaviour forever.
At Jet Pet Resort we only accept guests that are socialized. It is important to note that we are definitely not a kennel. When your pup stays with us, they are in for a fun-filled and interactive good time, not locked away in some cruel cage! Our facility is an open play environment, meaning that your dog is placed in a playgroup first thing in the morning and rotates during the day to any one of the indoor or outdoor play areas. They only return to their suites to eat, and maybe for a nap if you request that. Dogs that are not socialized do not do well in our facility and actually have increased levels of stress. If you have a dog that is socialized, is up to date with his or her vaccinations, and is either spayed or neutered, then your pup will love the social side of Jet Pet Resort where they will make so many new doggy friends and play until their heart’s content!