Socializing your Puppy
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Socialize that Pup

ocialization is a critical component of a healthy, well adjusted adult dog. This is especially important in breeds that are known for their protective or aggressive nature. The personality and behavior of a mature dog will be strongly affected by how he interacts with littermates, his mother, and other pets - as well as people. . . especially children, when he is young.

From puppyhood on, it is imperative that you make every effort to expand his environment and expose him to new things. At this stage of life, puppies should be around as many different people and animals as possible to help eliminate fear of the unknown. Try some of these effective socialization methods with your pup:

Enroll in a puppy socialization or obedience class, run by a professional, where he will meet other dogs.
Take him with you on walks, when shopping, or even to work (where allowed). Gradually get him used to new sights and sounds.
Invite your friends, including men, women, children and seniors, over to your house at different times to meet your new puppy.
Involve him in as much of your daily activities as possible. Be sure to offer treats for good behavior.

Puppies that have been exposed to various groups of people and pets are less likely to be aggressive to those groups as they mature. And you will be well on your way to having an excellent companion for years to come.

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