With social distancing still in place, many puppies are missing out on crucial socialization. Lack of socialization at a young age can lead to a lifetime of behavioral problems — including but not limited to separation anxiety, noise phobia, leash reactivity, and fear aggression. With proper safety and health precautions, it is possible to provide your puppy with safe, necessary socialization experiences — and have fun doing it!
Did you know...Socialization Can Be Done at Home!
Socialization includes exposing your dog to experiences that they should be prepared to handle throughout their life (vet or grooming appointments, new people or animals, hearing thunderstorms or vacuum cleaners, walking on different surfaces, and more). Luckily, many of these activities can be introduced and practiced with your puppy at home.
Tap into the Senses
- Tactile Socialization: Try touch-experiences like going in a bathtub, exploring outside surfaces, or even letting them walk on different flooring throughout the house (carpet, wood, and tile).
- Audible Socialization: Find different soundtracks, background noise, podcasts, & songs to play while your puppy rests, plays or eats.
- Visual Socialization: Play dress up. Put on different hats, sunglasses, or outfits and then go to greet your dog.
- Olfactory Socialization: A dog's strongest sense is their smell! Expose them to different smells in the house, or play games with hiding treats to stimulate their mind through their nose.
Stimulate Your Pup With New Scents & Toys
Tap into your pup's curious instincts with a new puzzle toy or a game. Many puppies are startled by unfamiliar objects and noises. Get a handle on this now and teach your puppy that these are not so scary by getting them a wide variety of toys beyond just your typical plush or rope. Puzzle games like the Brick Puzzle or Purple Twister are great because they keep your pup busy while encouraging them to interact with interesting challenges!
Training Tools: Inside & Outside The Home
The most important part of getting a new puppy includes making sure you have the right tools. A well fitted collar or harness is important to help control your rambunctious pup, or to use if you're taking your pup on a walk with a safe, trusted friend and their dog.
And of course, get them a proper training treat to reward them for good behavior! Choose a high quality treat over quantity to make sure you puppy stays healthy during these training months.
Clean, Clean, Clean!
Clean your puppy often to remove the street from their feet. Use pet-friendly cleansing wipes before bringing your pup back into the home.