Puppies and dogs are generally adored by everyone and socialization plays a very important role in their lives. The whole process of getting them to know other dogs, humans and the world around them is critical to dog’s comfort and happiness in the long run.
The socialization period stretches from the 3rd week of a puppy’s life and goes up to 12 weeks. This period is further divided into first three weeks from the third week, where you puppy learns to familiarize themselves with other puppies and interact with other canines. The second half of this period runs from the 7th week to 12 weeks during which your dog would learn to socialize with humans, strengthen their bond with the man which goes a long way in their lives.
During the socialization period your puppy is exposed to a wide variety of sights, smell, sounds and sensations. They learn and get familiarized with new things and experiences. If this period is not taken care of properly and you don’t allow your dog to develop socialization skills, they are most likely to develop anxiety, fear and aggression in the later part of their life.
You should start with handling them with love and care. Young puppies should be cuddled on daily basis. Be gentle and pleasant with your puppy by rubbing their muzzle, stroking their back and combing their hair. Make sure you introduce your dog to different kinds of noise including that of the phone, children playing, cars, honks, other dog’s barking and etc. Teach your puppy to be friendly towards people if they approach them while eating. This will prevent them from being defensive. You can do this by walking to your dog while they are eating and dropping a treat that they love to have. Repeat this couple of times a day and they will get used to the habit. Do not exhibit excessive aggression towards your dog. Don’t try to pin them down, scream at them or hit them if they are being naughty. This can backfire really fast.
Gradually introduce your puppy to new people. Don’t take to very crowded places suddenly. Gradually increase the number of people they meet and then start taking them out to the park with other people and animals around.
The prime reason for you to work on your dog’s socialization skills is to teach them how to get along with humans and not be afraid of them. Teach them to learn to deal with excitement and other different kinds of emotions without being affected by it too much. It is important to teach them that world is safe place.