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Socializing your puppy from a young age includes exposing them to people, pets, environments, smells and experiences. The reason we emphasize on socializing your pet from an early age is because they are more open to new experiences until they are 12 weeks old. If they are exposed to new experiences after this period, they are more likely to approach it with caution. Dogs that are not socialized from puppyhood, are more likely to show fear or aggression when presented with new situations.Should you be signing up your puppy for classes?
You want to introduce as many positive elements as you can in your puppy’s socialization process. Some puppies may be overwhelmed if presented by too many new situations and people at the same time. You want to take your time with it, and gradually get your puppy accustomed to new experiences. If you are looking for a structured way to socialize your puppy, you can also sign up for classes. These classes are especially meant to help puppies socialize under supervision.It’s a great place for puppies to start socializing as they get to interact with other pets who are around the same age as well. They learn their boundaries while playing with other puppies, and also get accustomed to being handled by different people as a result. Some classes even assist with basic training, making it easier for you to continue with behavior and obedience training sessions after.What if my puppy is shy?
If your puppy is over 3 months old and does not eagerly walk up to people wagging his tail, but instead chooses to shyly hide under the table, then you need to work on socializing your puppy right away. One of the best ways to get your pup accustomed to new people, is to have them give your pup his kibble or treats
. Your pup will find it easier to warm up to new acquaintances this way.If your puppy is small, you can carry him on outings, whether you are making a trip to the mall, or meet the local baking group. The idea is to get your puppy accustomed to meeting new people, and being in unfamiliar places. If you notice your shy puppy showing any reactions of fear or aggression, you want to tone down the socialization.Do not scold your puppy, instead take him home, and re-introduce him to an unfamiliar social situation that is not as challenging. You want to gradually expose your under-socialized pet to new scenarios, while making sure that he is not overwhelmed. If your puppy opens up in these social situations, make sure you praise/ reward him.