Last updated: Feb. 23 2018 2 min read
One of the major benefits of training your puppy early in its life is that it gets the opportunity for proper socialization which is critically important and an often overlooked key ingredient to a puppy’s education.
What Exactly Does Proper Socialization Mean?
Socialization is the process of providing your puppy the positive exposures it needs to the outside world while it is young enough to form a positive, bonding impression with its environment.
Socialization should be ongoing throughout your dog’s entire life. However, dog experts and trainers alike all agree that the most important time of your dog’s life in terms of proper socialization is between the ages of 1 to 4 months old. Studies prove that dogs which miss out on this early socialization never quite recover.
Your Veterinarian May Be Wrong
When it comes to a brand new puppy and its health, it used to be common instruction from most veterinarians that young pups under the age of four to six months should not be exposed to any outside places until they are completely vaccinated. However, modern veterinarians are understanding more about the importance of early socialization.
While your vet may have suggested that you keep your puppy indoors until fully vaccinated, you may want to follow the advice of other dog experts and veterinarians who have become educated to the psychological requirements that early socialization can provide. These veterinarians actually encourage their clients to take their puppies to safe environments in order to become socialized, such as puppy classes.
Other areas that are perfect for outside experiences and socialization purposes, yet are safe from causing ill health to a puppy, can be a fenced-in yard, puppy parties with your neighbors, or any areas outside that are free of dog feces and other free roaming dogs. The key is to not let your young puppy become exposed to any situation that may get him sick.
By failing to socialize your puppy at an early age, there is a good chance that he or she will develop shyness, fear, and the sensation of anxiety whenever it is out in the open with other people or strange dogs. By getting plenty of early positive experiences like this, your puppy will grow up to be confident, friendly natured, with an all-around outgoing personality. Dogs that are not properly socialized have a tendency to bite, fight other dogs, and unfortunately live shorter lifespans.