Socialization for dogs refers to exposing your dog to as many different sights, smells, people, animals, and places. It is best to socialize your dog as early as possible, it is speculated that the imprinting stage starts as young as 5 weeks old and ends before your dog reaches 16 weeks. When you provide proper socialization, your puppy will learn positive interactions with these new things. This will lay the foundation on how your dog will react to new stuff for the rest of their life. Socialization builds a dog’s self-confidence and should be continued throughout their life.
Socializing a dog is a process that does require dedication and proper timing depending on your dog’s level of maturity. It is also very important for you to take into consideration your dog’s threshold to adapting to different levels of stress. If you are unsure of what your dog’s level of social maturity is or how to read your dog’s stress signals, contact a professional dog trainer for assistance. A well socialized dog is incredibly adaptable, compliant, and has a high level of impulse control. Remember socializing your dog is not limited to just people and dogs.
Below is a suggested list of items that a well socialized dog will gladly accept.
People: Infants ~ Children ~ Adults ~ Seniors
Sounds: Doorbell ~ Vacuum ~ Sirens ~ Yelling
Surfaces: Concrete ~Gravel ~ Tile ~ Grass
Actions: Clapping ~ Running ~ Biking ~ Crawling