Puppy Socialization Period

To successfully raise a well-mannered, well socialized and confident puppy, you must understand how puppies develop and why they behave as they do so you can communicate with your puppy at their level.

It is believed that during the first four months of a puppy’s life, all the basic behavior patterns are developed forming the foundation of his/her adult personality.

The puppy socialization period is a critical phase of your puppy’s development and marks the period when the potential for healthy relationships with people and other dogs develop. By exposing your puppy to appropriately managed situations and experiences during this period, she/he can become confident with different people, sounds, objects, animals and situations,  Your goal should be to build your puppy’s self-confidence by praising him for appropriate behavior in these situations. Be sure to talk to your puppy and praise him/her often. During this period your puppy can become easily overwhelmed by crowds of people, people approaching him too fast, or strange objects and noises.

While your puppy was exposed to many situations in the early weeks of life at Red Rock Doodles, taking time to socialize your puppy in low distraction environments will go a long way toward creating a well-behaved adult dog in public settings.  Introduce your puppy to a dog you know is calm to help them get through their fear periods without additional stress.

Taking your puppy to puppy class, to homes of friends and family, or on short walks in the park (until all vaccinations are completed, avoid dog parks), are activities you can enjoy with your puppy during the puppy socialization period.  Be attentive to your dog’s responses and make sure you keep appropriate distances from unknown dogs so your puppy does not have additional stress.  

If you pay attention, you will find your puppy making good decisions and behaving properly.  Examples include pottying outside (“good hurry” ) and being quiet after being placed in the kennel at night,  When he quiets and lies down at your side, encourage this good behavior by praising him (“good settle”) and offer him a treat.  

At this early stage, you want to praise and reward your puppy often and consistently for making these good decisions and to encourage continued good behavior.  Socialization is important to developing a healthy and happy adult dog.  “Good job!”