Socialization is the process of introducing and accustoming your puppy to the human society. That is how the puppy learns to interact and recognize other animals and people. It is perhaps one of the most important lesson you can teach your little friend. It helps the puppy to get comfortable with its surroundings— which includes other animals, smells, sounds, buildings and other people. It ensures that your puppy will not get scared or aggressive by mundane things like the sound of a car passing by or chirping of birds. Puppies start to understand what is normal in this world from a very early stage and it is very important to give them the right exposure to their surroundings to ensure that they learn to get comfortable with the experiences he will encounter later in life. The process of socialization should be done very carefully, badly socialized dogs may react to change with fear or aggression. Socialization is the easiest way to ensure that your puppy grows up to be a wonderful and healthy companion.
Importance of socialization
Socialization is a very important step when raising a puppy, well socialized puppies develop into friendlier and happier pets that are not afraid of change. Scientific studies have shown that dogs who weren’t socialized early were frightful towards other people and surroundings. Dogs who are not properly socialized can be very dangerous. They are prone to biting and attacking other people. Proper socialization ensures that the dog will be comfortable when taken into new surroundings or while meeting other animals and people.
Most dogs develop serious behavioral problems due to lack of proper exposure and experience during puppy-hood. They are either very aggressive or too frightened of others and their environment, this may result in the dog being taken away to an animal shelter where it will face an uncertain future ahead of him.
The right time for socialization
Like most other animals, dogs learn to accept new surroundings at a very early stage. 3 to 12 weeks old puppies are the most comfortable with accepting new experiences. Dogs older than that display more caution towards new things and they may become fearful, which may lead to aggression. As time passes by it gets extremely difficult to teach the puppy to become comfortable with something he initially feared and after some more time it becomes almost impossible for the dog to adapt to changing environments and overcome his fears.
The best ways to socialize a puppy
Socialization seems like a really difficult but it’s not as difficult as it appears to be. A puppy can only be socialized if he is give exposure to a wide variety sounds, people, smells, places, animals and experiences that the puppy may encounter later in life. The best way of doing things is exposing the puppy to different sets of experiences every day. Another important step is to make the puppy accustomed to the sounds that it may hear in daily life. To make the puppy comfortable with other people, strangers should be given treats and the puppy's favorite toys in order to make the puppy realize that there is no danger from these people.
Socialization is a gradual process. While it is not possible to expose the puppy to all the different situations it might face during its life in the socialization period, the wider base of exposure it has had, the more it’s likely that it will adapt to changes in the environment. It is also very important for the puppy to get comfortable with other dogs and not get scared or angry when they come near. To overcome this problem the puppy needs to be introduced to other dogs during the socialization period.
Socialization is the most essential lesson in a dog's life, it’s how it will to adapt to its surroundings while comfortably interacting with them. Socialization should be done at the right time or it may lead to some serious behavioral issues. It's the key step in ensuring that the puppy develops into a safe and friendly companion. Puppies should be exposed to as much of their surrounding when they are young so that they do not develop fear or aggression when they grow up.