puppy socialization

Positive experiences and exposure to a variety of situations during your puppies first 4-6 months of life are essential to helping your puppy develop into a well-adjusted adult dog.

What is puppy socialization?

The world can be a big, scary place to puppies.  Meeting new people, other animals and being in a new environment are all brand new experiences for puppies.  

It is important to expose your puppy to a variety of situations in a positive, calm way that doesn't overwhelm him.

Adaptil has been clinically proven* to help reduce stress in puppies during training and socialization, helping him learn more quickly.  This effect is lifelong, helping your puppy develop into a well-adjusted adult dog. 

Some charities that train puppies (hearing dogs for the deaf, etc.) use Adaptil in the training and socialization period to ensure successful training outcomes. 

How do you socialize your puppy?

1.

Make new experiences fun and positive by feeding treats and giving praise in new situations.

2.

Understand your puppy’s personality and temperament; keep experiences at a level that does not frighten, stress, or scare your puppy. This may mean just letting your puppy hang back a bit as he watches before he engages with new things.

3.

Never force your puppy to do anything. If he hangs back, go further away until he calms and reward him with food.

4.

Never punish your puppy if he shies away. Offer support and give him encouragement and time. If he really doesn’t want to interact, don't make him.

5.

Have your puppy meet people outside the household, such as delivery men and children in the neighborhood. Ask the new people to give your dog a treat to reward him for the experience.

6.

Take your dog to the vet for "happy visits." These are practice runs to the vet where the only thing that happens is that the puppy gets a treat from the staff members and get used to standing on the weight scale.

7.

Fit an Adaptil Collar on your dog as soon as you get him and use a collar for four months. Adaptil is clinically proven to help reduces stress in puppies, helping them acclimate to new situations faster and become more well-socialized adult dogs.

Do’s and Don'ts for wearing an Adaptil Collar

1.

Place a collar on your puppy as soon as he is adopted.

2.

Collar should fit snugly, with no more than a two-finger width between the neck and the collar.

3.

The collar releases the pheromone when warmed by body heat and should always be touching the skin. Therefore, it should be checked daily to ensure it has not become loose.

4.

As puppies grow, the collar should also be checked to ensure it has not become too tight.

5.

Remove the collar before grooming, and replace it after the dog’s coat is dry. The pheromone will re-activate once warmed up.

6.

For best results, use a collar for at least four months - during your puppies critically development phase.

Socializing puppies is one of the most important things you can do to help your puppy grow into a well-adjusted dog. And it can be easy and fun. It involves taking your puppy to places and meeting people and other animals. This should be start when the puppy is newly adopted and continue throughout the first year of your pet's life. 

The risk of poorly socialized puppies and dogs

*Denenberg S, Landsberg GM, Effect of dog-appeasing pheromoes on anxiety and fear in puppies during training and its effects on long term socialization.  J Am Vet Med Assoc 2008; 233, 1874-1882.