How to Socialize Your Puppy Safely: top 10 strategies

it's so important that you socialize your puppy safely we all know that the risk of a dog catching a deadly infectious disease is worse when they are puppies and have not completed their vaccinations did you know though that behavioral problems are the number one cause of death in adolescent and young adult dogs under 3 years of age socialization is key to ensuring your dog grows up to be free from behavioral problems free from aggression issues and is not scared of common situations safe socialization is vital for the health and well-being of your dog stick around to learn more Hi I'm Dr Alex Avery from OurPetsHealth

com, helping you and your pet to them healthier happier lives now it's well known that a young puppies brain is like a sponge they take everything in they come across in the early weeks of life and file them away in the normal category nothing to see here no reason to be afraid no need to get defensive or aggressive this critical period takes place between about 3 and 12 to 16 weeks of age after this time it becomes progressively harder to get a pup or adult dog to accept new experiences new objects new people noises and situations as normal and safe what this means is that a grown dog that has not come across the situation before it's much more likely to show signs of fear or aggression compared to a dog who experienced that situation as a young puppy now the problem of getting your pup to experience as many different people animals noises vehicles and environments in this period is that a puppy's vaccination course will generally not be completed until 16 weeks of age if we leave socialization until they're fully protected from the likes of parvovirus it will be too late the critical socialisation period will be over so how can we manage this risk well in areas where parvovirus distemper hepatitis or rabies and the like are common the recommendations made it for slightly so in every instance you should be discussing socialization with your vet even before your new puppy comes home they will have local knowledge on the opportunities available to your pup I believe however that the following ten recommendations will help ensure your dog grows into a well-rounded individual while at the same time minimizing their risk of disease a number one let's start with the rule to mix only with healthy dogs that are known to have been fully vaccinated or healthy puppies that are going through their vaccination program this will allow them to still meet and play with lots of different breeds and sizes of dogs it's important than this playtime is supervised though so that your puppy voice getting an injury from playing with an enthusiastic larger dog okay so number two is to make sure that your pup meets all your friends and family these are people who meet your dog regularly throughout their life an early introduction will help prevent your dog from being scared or aggressive towards them in the future young children especially can be very scary to an older dog who has never had to come across them before also think about walking sticks wheelchairs and any other props that people may need for daily life these are all things that can scare dogs okay so at number three is to enroll in puppy classes where all attendees will have been required to have had their first vaccinations and be healthy well-run structured puppy classes are an excellent opportunity to socialize with other people and even more puppies they are also often run by your local vet clinic which really helps them except going to the vets as a fun experience rather than one to be feared it's often easy for us vets to know which dogs attended puppy classes even when they reach old age they always remember where the treats are kept these classes are also a great opportunity to discuss routine health care and basic training with the vet team and even go through a basic clinical exam if you handle your dog over their entire body then they are more likely to accept this being done by a vet when they are feeling unwell there is little more frustrating as a vet than being unable to properly provide care to a sick dog because they are just too aggressive if they love their vet life is easy okay so next up is to explore enclosed Gardens and properties that have no history of parvovirus this allows your park to experience different environments and come across different objects now because parvovirus can live in the soil for a year or more knowing the history of the property is very important you will also need to consider local risks as advised to you by your vet okay so number five is to get used to traveling in different vehicles it can be very tedious having to battle with your dog because they are scared of going in the car start off with very short trips or even just sitting in the car with the engine running if you have different vehicles then alternating between them and also help now driving around also allows your pup to experience lots of different sights sounds and smells all adding to the socialization experience experiencing all the different sounds your dog will come across in daily life is our number six now this may be loud traffic fireworks gunshots Thunder and crying babies it can be tricky depending on the time of year to come across all of these things but if you know that your pet will come across certain noises in the future and even playing recordings of them will help them accept it doing it this way also means that you can start off more quietly and slowly just increase that volume to more realistic levels over a few weeks and this reduces the chance of a fearful response ok so strategy number seven is while they are small enough to carry your pup up and down busy streets introduce them to everyone who shows an interest after all everyone loves making a fuss of a puppy and so this will allow them to meet lots of different people of different genders different ethnicities sizes age clothing and more puppies can also be pushed around in a pram or buggy if they are unable to be carried just make sure that they are well secured because you don't want them jumping or falling out and hurting themselves number eight is one for you if you live by the sea walking on the beach below the high tide line is generally considered safe any contaminated material is likely to have been washed away by the tide it's also a great fun place to play and your pup will love it keep an eye out though also for fishing line and any hooks or baits or other debris that may have been washed up you don't want your pup to eat something that they really should avoid okay so my penultimate tip is to start training straight away most puppies will go to their forever home at around eight weeks of age this leaves only four weeks of the critical socialization period to work with come up with a plan before you pick up your pup take some time off work whatever it takes this is too important an issue to ignore start training the basics like sit stay and recall early will cement them into your puppy it will sow the seeds for future training as well as fast-track the amazing bonds that we form in our pets and last but not least number 10 is to keep up your socialization effort from the first year of life and beyond you may not manage to include everything above in the first month together don't stop learning is a lifelong process and the first year's still a great period to target it's just not quite as easy as the first three months of our pups life okay so those are my top tips for safe socialization as for what not to do and where not to go all costs avoid popular dog exercise areas or places where other unknown dogs are frequently walked these are hot spots for the spread of all manner of infectious diseases finally for those of you with shy pups you should really let them take things at their own pace avoid over stimulation or forcing them into situations where they are clearly unsure uncomfortable or afraid forcing them can actually make things worse and end up with them being scared of these situations in the future instead scheduled more frequent but shorter length exposure to these problem situations and they'll soon get over any trepidation just be sure to work at their pace rather than yours as a final thought if you get a pup later on or if you're worried that they are developing any behavioral issues it's really important you speak to a trained professional straightaway now this might be your vet qualified trainer or a specific animal behaviorist ignoring the problem it will only make it much harder to correct at a later date behavioral issues are not something that simply goes away if ignored it will get worse okay so I hope this video really kickstart you and your puppy's life together they bring us such joy socialization really isn't too much to ask if you have any questions if there are any socialization tips that you'd like to share or topics you'd like covered in future videos and please leave a comment down below I'd love to hear from you also consider subscribing to this channel to make sure that you don't miss out on future content and allow me to continue to help you and your pet to live happier lives so until next time i'm Dr Alex from OurPetsHealthcom because they're family


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