6 Tips for Socializing Your New Puppy

Socialization is the process of safely and calmly exposing and introducing your new puppy to everything there is in the world (different kinds of people, other animals, sounds, objects, and floors) so that when they next encounter it, they won’t feel stressed, afraid, or act out aggressively. Socialization is essential to your new puppy’s ability to mature and grow into a well-behaved, happy adult dog.

6 Tips for Socializing Your New Puppy

1. Don't Miss the Socialization Window

Socialization occurs throughout a dog’s life, but the most important window for socialization happens within the first 12 months. During this time, it is important to focus on socialization and expose your pet (in a safe and positive way) to as much as possible.

2. Sign Up for a Puppy Class and Find a Puppy Playgroup

One of the best ways to socialize your pet with different people and animals is to join a puppy training class. Once your puppy has some training experience, join a playgroup of other similarly aged and sized dogs.

3. Introduce New Objects

In addition to classes, you can socialize your pet at home by introducing them to new objects such as mirrors, brooms, bicycles, flags, balloons, packaging, strollers, frisbees, balls, and water (the hose, sprinklers, and the bath).

4. Explore New Textures

Additionally, you’ll want to help your pet explore walking over new textures to avoid them being afraid of linoleum or another type of floor in the future. Show your pet carpet, hardwood, tile, grass, dirt, and sand.

5. Listen to New Sounds

Try listening to new sounds, too. Run the vacuum (with lots of high-reward treats), dishwasher, washing machine, and drier. Don’t hide from sirens, storms, or fireworks. Play music in your house. Mow the lawn. Honk your car horn.

6. Go on Outings

Once your pet is fully vaccinated, you can also take your puppy on short outings to dog-friendly places. Visit the beach, walk through the hardware store, take a stroll down a busy street (on leash), and visit a farm where your puppy can see and smell lots of different animals.

Puppy Training and Behavioral Counseling at South Meadow Animal Clinic

At South Meadow Animal Clinic, we want to help you give your new puppy an excellent start in life and all the tools and training they need to grow into a successful, well-adjusted adult dog. In addition to establishing care with our veterinarian and providing your pet with preventive treatments, we can also help provide you with socialization advice and help you choose the right puppy classes and playgroups for you and your new pet.