How to Socialize Your Puppy

It’s so important to socialize your puppy.

I once overheard a woman at an agility trial say, “I’d much rather be around a well-mannered dog than an ill-mannered puppy.”

No one wants to be knocked down by your dog or worse, snapped at or bit during a case of misunderstanding.

Of course anything with teeth can bite. But most well-socialized dogs are not likely to bite anyone except under extreme circumstances.

Even older dogs can learn better manners. silver lab puppy picture

4 Easy Steps To Socialize Your Puppy:

1. Take him or her on walks in crowded pedestrian areas. (Caveat: Puppy has to be pleasant and reasonably able to walk on a leash for this to work...) If you don’t live in a town with a walkable town center or a city, try to walk at times your neighborhood will be most crowded with other walkers.

cute puppy picture

People will stop to pet your puppy and talk with you. This attention gets your pet accustomed to strangers petting and cooing at him so he thinks people are great.

2. Take your dogs to dog parks. Great for interaction with other dogs as well as their owners. It’s great exercise too. They’ll be tired and happy when it’s time to go home.

3. Have “play dates” with other dogs. Especially if you have an “only dog”, it can be fun for the dogs, see if you can trade off with a neighbor and take turns “dog sitting” for the afternoon. The dogs can hang out together and feel a change of pace and your routine isn’t disrupted.

4. Let small children to pet your friendly(!) dog and make her sit for the petting.

Make sure the children are gentle in their touching. Unless your puppy shows signs of aggression, she will likely sit fine and not mind the smaller humans touching her fur.

Kids usually give a very superficial and often quick pat or smoothing of the fur and then they’re done. It only takes a minute and if you don’t have small children at home, it exposes your dog to them in a pleasant way.

Each exposure to other environments, people, and pets helps to socialize your dog.

Dogs are very social creatures and love to visit and play.

Ideally, some portion of these will be included daily in your interactions with a new puppy or new addition to your family.

Coupled with basic training like walking on a leash and sitting, not jumping, your dog will grow into a very well-mannered gentleman/lady.

Socialize your puppy well and you'll have a companion who's a pleasure to be with.

Socializing goes hand-in-hand with training.

If you need help finding information on training, there are many books and dvd's and classes.

Here's a great site with tips on how to train a puppy.

dog obedience training