Ever wondered why some dogs react differently even to the simplest of things?
As a pet parent, seeing your dog growling, acting aggressive, snapping, stiffening, biting, getting uncomfortable with other dogs, appearing uneasy around people, or being sound sensitive is not something you would really want. All of these issues arise as a result of puppy socialization not done responsibly.
Puppy socialization is a process that teaches puppies how to think about the world, how to respond to things in the world, and generally how to behave when things happen in their world.
Socialization is an investment for your baby in giving it a happy life and a comfortable place in your family.
The first few months in a puppy’s life decide its life as an adult dog.
Socializing your puppy
Socializing your puppy allows it to enjoy a wide range of pleasant experiences in the real world, ensuring that it has the behavioral tools to cope with anything life throws. It is essential if you want your dog to be happy, confident, and well-adjusted. The experiences the puppies go through during this formative stage of learning and development can have a long-term impact on their behavior. Also, this is not only the best time for your puppy to learn how to engage and play with other dogs, but it is also the most important period for it to have a strong and healthy human contact.
Impacts on future personality
During the socializing period, the puppy's future personality will be strongly influenced. It is also during this time, that they build their temperament and character, which will endure for the rest of their lives. All five senses are activated throughout the socializing stage by exposure and desensitization to sounds, sights, tastes, smells, and a touch of items around them.
Between 3 and 14 weeks of age, the socializing stage is of extreme importance. It is the period of a puppy's life when the minutest of experience has a bigger impact on later behavior. If a puppy is responsibly socialized during this time, it will grow up believing that the world is a delightful, safe, and a good place, which is exactly what you want as a pet parent. Your puppy will need to be fully vaccinated before it can come into contact with any areas that unvaccinated dogs have possibly been. Fearful reactions to people, noises, and unexpected places are more probable in dogs that have not had favorable experiences throughout this time. They usually mature into adult dogs who are more cautious, shy, fearful, and apprehensive. Adult dogs typically have a harder time coping with new or stressful situations.
A natural "fear" period begins at the age of 8 weeks and lasts until the age of 11 weeks. This is something you have to be extremely cautious about. Anything that frightens a puppy during this stage can have a more lasting effect than at any other time. This "fear stage" runs concurrently with the "human socialization period," which lasts between 7 and 12 weeks. Because this is when the majority of puppies are adopted, it is critical that positive experiences occur at this period. From 7-9 months of age, the other "fear stage" begins, so it's vital to maintain pleasant experiences.
Puppy socialization must be positive and dynamic. Negative experiences will not only be worrisome but also can have serious repercussions. These experiences should be positive and safe only in order to grow into a confident, responsible, comfortable, and resilient dog. Another perk in taking the time to socialize your puppy properly can go a long way toward developing a positive human-canine attachment.
Here’s how impactful socialization is for your pup and you as a pet parent:
Playtime = excellent workout
Dogs have their own language of sounds, gestures, and social signs that allow them to communicate with the group when they require a break. Playing in a pack provides your pup with a level of mental and physical stimulation.
Puppies enjoy running and playing with their mates. A play experience outside the house includes learning to explore and adapt to new surroundings, scents, sounds, and stimuli. While new locations may cause anxiety at first, the excitement of playing often outweighs that apprehension. Finding their position in a pack can also help puppies who are shy gain confidence. Finally, educating your baby that leaving the house may lead to hours of entertainment is an excellent method to help cope with a variety of normally stressful situations, including travel, grooming, and vet visits.
Socializing your pup will lead to a happier dog overall – and that makes you one happy pet parent!
Having said that, it is important that you maintain your dog's socialization throughout its life. To be healthy and interested in the world around them, dogs, like humans, need to continuously expand their minds and surroundings.