Jaxs the wonderdog with his Kong

You may have heard people talking about socializing their new dog/puppy. But what is this and how should it be done correctly and for how long?

Socializing a puppy is extremely important and it includes dogs outside the home; people outside the family unit; people of all ages; people riding bikes, skate boards, scooters; large tucks; horses; cows; cats, etc.  The critical time for socializing a puppy is before 4 months of age and should be continued for the rest of their life with visits and outings.

The American Veterinary Medical Association provides the following guidance: “Puppies need socialization with other dogs, but those dogs must be well vaccinated and healthy”.  Make sure you check that dogs you plan to socialize with are healthy, up-to-date with vaccinations and friendly to puppies!  Find a puppy play group to have dates with.

We recommend joining an AKC Puppy Star class which allows off leash socialization  in a safe and controlled environment.   Continue your dogs socialization after this class by joining a Good Manners class or  by finding a dog sport you enjoy (rally, obedience, dock jumping- are all non impact bearing for young dogs).

Failure to socialize your puppy early may lead to aggression as your puppy becomes an adolescent.  No one wants a dog who lunges or barks on a  leash.