Puppy Socialization – Getting Started

(part 1 of 2)

Socialization is the process of preparing a puppy to be comfortable with interactions with people, other dogs, other species and the outside world.  Ideally this should take place during the sensitive period between 3 and 14 weeks of age.  This is the period when puppies benefit most from exposure to new or strange stimuli and they show a willingness to explore and play with little fear when encountering new people, animals, objects and experiences.  Puppies deprived of these experiences will have a significantly increased risk of developing into adults with fear, aggression and arousal issues.  The idea being to stop fear before it starts and to raise a well-adjusted, well-mannered dog.  This socialization should begin at 3 weeks with the puppy raiser and continue with the new owner.

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