Holistic Pet Blog - Debbie Reynolds, DVM
We are so excited to offer Puppy Socials at The Blessed Pet Shop! Please watch our events on our facebook page so you can attend because there are limited seats.
There are some important time periods that you should know about before you get your puppy to help them to be well adjusted in their years to come.
The Canine Socialization period is from 3-7 weeks. This occurs before most people even get their dog home. This is when your dog learns the species-specific behaviors that make him a dog. Through interaction with mother and littermates, the pup learns the body language, facial expressions and vocalizations of canine communication. It’s important that puppies remain with their littermates for this entire period. Current thinking is that it is beneficial to extend this until 8 to 10 weeks, as long as the breeder provides a rich, stimulated environment.
The Human Socialization period is from 8-12 weeks of age. This is the time during which the puppy must be socialized with a variety of people and new experiences. Lack of socialization during this time period results in dogs that are frightened of “the new”: people, places, objects, and activities. They should see people of different colors, ages and sizes. This is the ideal time for play with other puppies – with the understanding that puppiesneed rest and can become over stimulated. This is a good time for the introduction to a broad range of experiences, including training, grooming, hearing loud noises (vacuum cleaner, lawn mower, etc.), seeing delivery and postal services, and even other animals. Anything that is a part of your life should be introduced to the puppy during this time.
Fear impact period is from 8-11 wees and is a time when a painful, traumatic
experience can have a lasting effect. This doesn’t mean isolate the puppy – but it does
mean exercise care and avoid frightening, potentially painful experiences: physically
painful, not just new and different. This is where our Fear Free veterinary visit is really important. We always want their veterinary visit to be fun and full of treats and love to set them up for a lifetime of stress free visits.
This is one of the most important times of your puppy's life. After this time period, it is much more difficult to acclimate puppies to new situations or environments if they haven't already been exposed to it. It isn't impossible, just more difficult.
Many people adopt a dog that is already past this time period and can see the problems their new pet has because of improper or no socialization. Time, patience, training and love can win over the past of your pet.