Exposing your puppy to different kinds of environments and experiences is a very important step in his learning process. In order to develop a healthy mental well-being, he needs to know that the world is a fun place to explore. This can only be achieved through proper and continuous socialization.
Socialization is the process of preparing your puppy for healthy mental development by exposing him in a positive way to different sights, smells, and sounds. Socialization also includes interaction with people, dogs and other animals, as well as other objects like moving cars.
Taking your puppy to a training class is an excellent way to introduce him to a variety of experiences. However, socializing your puppy calls for much more than teaching him training skills. Socialization teaches your pet to interact with different situations, explore without fear, and get to know as much as he can about the world around him, thereby giving him a wholesome life.
Preferably, socialization should begin in your puppy’s first home. His breeder should introduce him, along with the rest of the litter, to a variety of stimuli from the moment they are born.
For instance, the litter should be exposed to different bedding materials to get them used to different textures and surfaces. Objects like balls, squeaky toys, bubble wraps, plastic bags, and other items should be introduced slowly and often. This helps them approach new situations with confidence.
Below are a few examples of objects and situations that your pup should see and experience from the moment he opens his eyes:
* The sounds of different appliances in the house.
*A trip to the vet.
*Going up and down the stairs.
*Meeting different people of different ages.
*Meeting other puppies and dogs (Keep puppy on your arms and under closed supervision).
*Meeting people using wheelchairs, walkers, and canes.
*Meeting people wearing hoods, hats, coats, and loud clothes.
*Watching children play.
*Watching small animals such as birds and squirrels (do not allow chasing).
*Riding in the car inside a crate with windows rolled up and then rolled down.
*A flying kite or balloons.
*Introduce the pup to different “odd” objects like plastic bags and fire hydrants.
*Experience different sights, sounds, and smells of different objects.