Puppy socialization: when to start and how to spend
Does puppy need socialization
Oh, how many copies have already been broken in disputes about whether it is worth specially socializing the puppy. Adherents of the fact that puppy socialization is a cure for the “sore head” believe that a healthy dog with a strong nervous system quickly and without unnecessary stress adapts to new conditions or irritants by itself. I agree, but ... I think that playing Russian roulette is a thankless task, especially when it comes to our pet. That is why I personally believe that the unobtrusive socialization carried out on time will at least help the puppy adapt to environmental conditions faster, and even prevent the development of fears and phobias, which are much more difficult to correct than to prevent.
When to start puppy socialization and how to carry it out
The most favorable period for socializing a puppy is from 2 to 6 months.
But it can be started earlier: for example, as soon as the puppies open their eyes and begin to move around the room, the simplest socialization will be in contact with new people, children, elderly people. You can simply bring new objects into the room that the puppies will get to know.
While the puppy is in quarantine, so as not to waste time in vain, you can engage in passive socialization: take him out into the street in your arms (if the weight, of course, allows). Walk along the future route of the walk, go to the park, to the store or pharmacy, in the subway, take a ride in public transport.Of course, the baby will not be able to walk with its paws, feel different surfaces, try the surrounding reality on a tooth or sniff a strange object. But he will smell various smells, hear various sounds and consider what is happening around him. And at home you can get acquainted with various surfaces: build a kind of “obstacle course”: a piece of linoleum, several tiles, a spiky rug, like those that put old jeans on the front door of a sheet of foil, a balancing pillow ... give free rein to the imagination. Let the baby feel these surfaces, try for a tooth, run on them.
Socialization of a puppy during quarantine
I also highly recommend using quarantine in order to teach your puppy a very useful “Check” command, on which the puppy will walk and check objects frightening or embarrassing.
Place a new item in the room where you are with the baby. For example, an inverted bowl or basin, backpack, box. As soon as the dog looks at a new object, praise it, treat it with a treat. You can come up with a puppy to a new subject (just don’t pull the pet by force - let him dare to come up). At the moment when the dog sniffs the item, say the command “Check”, praise and treat the baby for the courage shown.
Going out is an opportunity to regularly work on the socialization of the dog.
Think over new routes where the puppy will meet new objects. Stadium, school, market, construction, underpass, public transport, forest, snowman, large boulder, cyclists, scooters, strollers - all this is new to the puppy, all this is interesting and a little frightening.Give him the opportunity to get acquainted with the diversity of the world around him, show him that the new does not mean dangerous. Only, of course, make sure your puppy is safe.
When my airedale was small, we stopped and looked for 10 minutes at a working excavator, at workers drilling asphalt, at a crow sitting on a lamppost. Elbrus examined, studied a new object from different angles; he probably thought some puppy thoughts at the same time.
Communication with other dogs is also a very important moment in the process of socializing the puppy and forming your dog. The greater the number of different breeds your puppy sees, the more different dogs will later understand it - he will learn to read body language and facial expressions and brachycephalus, and native breeds, and furry black dogs. And he himself will learn to engage in dialogue with other dogs, to show them when he wants to play, to explain what is uncomfortable for him now, to leave the conflict or to get out of the conflict with the help of dog ritual movements.
Yes, to be born a dog does not mean that the dog will be able to communicate in canine language. This also needs to be learned, and it is better to learn this in puppyhood.
And in conclusion, I want to warn: everything is good in moderation. The socialization of socialization is strife. Take care of your puppy, do not throw it into the abyss of passions. Intense psycho-emotional stress can lead to the opposite effect. Normalize irritants, do not forget that cortisol (the stress hormone secreted in stressful situations) is eliminated from the blood in an average of 72 hours.Let your baby relax and enjoy a one-on-one walk with a beloved host.