August 17, 2022 by Misty Fleming
Dogs are pack animals, and they are curious creatures. As puppies grow, they need to socialize and learn. The first three months of a puppy’s life are critical. This is the time to experience people, places, and things in a friendly, non-threatening manner. Your puppy’s experiences in the first few months of life will permanently shape your behavior.
Dogs should have positive interactions with humans from a young age. Puppies as young as three weeks old will approach humans out of curiosity. Experiencing touch and gentle play will teach your puppy that humans are not a threat and positively form your dog’s disposition. If dogs do not have good experiences with humans from a young age, they may develop fearful or aggressive tendencies.
Similar to human interactions, puppies should have positive interactions with other dogs. You should supervise your puppy and allow it to play with other, non-aggressive dogs. Familiarizing yourself with the differences between dogs playing and fighting will be helpful. A nip here or there is one way dogs positively relate to each other. But if you see curled lips with a low warning growl, it may be time to remove your puppy from the encounter. Remember, though, your puppy was born with littermates, and rough play with other dogs is important to their development!
You should also expose your puppy to new experiences. These experiences could include bathing or a ride in the car. Generally, presenting your dog with a variety of unique experiences (both indoors and outdoors) is best. So go ahead, and enjoy a walk in the park while your puppy smells anything and everything!
We recommend this article on the American Kennel Association website for more information on dog socialization.
Puppies can receive fun and supervised socialization with people and other dogs at All Dogs Dream! Consider bringing them for a full play day at our daycare! Or, consider signing them up for one of our training classes so that they can play and learn!
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