How to Socialize Your Puppy.. Before Vaccines are Done
Many new dog owners have heard or know that socializing a new puppy is important. But there's a dilemma- puppies are not recommended to walk everywhere until they are done with their vaccines. However, the recommended socialization window is from 4 to 14 weeks. Most puppies are not done with shots until 16 weeks. What is a new dog owner to do?
Well, luckily there are ways you can take your puppy out and about without ever directly exposing it to horrible diseases like parvo, which lurks in the ground where unwell dogs have done their business. With Kimchi, I carried her everywhere in an airline approved carrier. If I were to do it again, I would have also bought a dog tote bag so that she could have been able to see the world completely without even the screen barrier of the airline carrier.
Here is a list of places (as well as objects/sights/sounds to positively expose your puppy to) you can go with your puppy to get it socialized with the world while it is in a comfy carrier:
1) Parks; water fountains, kids, balls/frisbees, bikes, skateboards
4) Outdoor malls; parking lots
5) Pet stores; shopping carts
6) Restaurants with dog friendly outdoor patios
7) Downtown areas or areas with more density; construction noises
8) Different neighborhoods; lawnmowers, cars turning on and off
9) Airport; crowds of people, suitcases
And here is a list of other things to socialize your puppy with or make sure it is exposed to in a positive way (no carrier needed):
1) Vaccinated, well socialized older dogs
2) Other puppies
3) Kids and babies
4) Adults; men, women, people with hats, tall/short, etc.
5) Vacuum at home
6) Water (bath time)
7) Car rides
Sounds like a lot? You bet! But socializing your puppy as much as possible while it is young is highly recommended so that they do not develop behavioral problems and/or irrational fears as they mature. At less than 14 weeks, puppies are highly impressionable and do well with positive new experiences. It is important to keep in mind that the key here is positive experiences, so make sure to not overwhelm your puppy with all of these new experiences in one day. Spread them out and keep it fun and exiting for your puppy. If you are having fun and feeling relaxed, it is likely your puppy will feel the same.
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