What is Puppy Socialization?

Puppies go through a “critical period of socialization” or a “sensitive period” when they’re about 3-16 weeks old. This is where puppy socialization is key. At this time, the brains of young puppies are sponges, absorbing information about what’s safe and good in the world. They’re far less likely to have fearful responses to new experiences while they’re this age. As they leave the critical socialization period, dogs naturally become more “neophobic,” or afraid of new experiences. This is completely normal, but can pose a problem for puppy owners: how do you take advantage of your puppy’s socialization period without…

Tips From a Dog Trainer On How to Socialize a Dog

While many new dog owners know that they should socialize their dog, there’s a lot of confusion as to what that means. Many well-meaning new pet parents try to socialize their dog by bringing their dog to the dog park, brewery, or park. But that’s not really socialization. So what is socialization? Socializing a dog is about more than just exposing your dog to strange people, places, dogs, and things. It’s also about teaching your dog how to behave politely around them. For most of us, our ultimate goal is a dog who confidently and calmly ignores (or maybe greets…