The Importance of Puppy Socialization

Just as important as keeping up the health of your puppy is providing them with socialization. The first 3 months of a puppy's life are especially crucial to expose them to new people, dogs, children, and places as this will have a major effect on their behavior later in life.

What if my puppy isn't fully vaccinated yet? 
According to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, while puppies are more at-risk because of their developing immune systems, the combination of preliminary vaccines and socialization in a safe place makes the risk of infection relatively small. The number one reason dogs get relinquished to shelters is behavioral issues, many of which are euthanized because of it. The AVSAB states that, "behavioral issues, not infectious diseases are the number one cause of death for dogs under 3 years of age." As long as your puppy has received at least one vaccine and deworming and keeps up-to-date on vaccines during socialization, the health risk is minimal compared to the behavioral benefit. 

What kind of socialization should my puppy get?
Without overwhelming your puppy, exposing them to as many new situations and people as possible is best. Rewarding them with treats and positive reinforcement has been proven to positively effect behavior more than punishment or human dominance. Taking every opportunity in or out of your home is beneficial to your puppy, but even more helpful can be enrolling them in socialization classes. 

Where can I do puppy socialization classes?
Every Saturday and Sunday at 1PM there is a FREE Puppy Playtime at Petco! Every puppy is required to have a current vaccination record, so your puppy will be playing with other puppies with good health records. There will also be a Petco representative there to help guide the socialization so that your puppy has a positive experience. 

My dog is older, is it too late to socialize them?
Even if your puppy is older than 3 months, it's never too late to socialize your dog. At any stage of their life, you can still still improve their behavior through training, time, and socialization. The more you work with them also creates closer bond between you and your dog. If you have any questions on behavior training send us an e-mail at lifelinepuppyrescue@yahoo.com or look up local behavior training classes in your area. 

For more information on puppy socialization from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior visit:

For more information on Petco FREE Puppy Playtimes visit: www.petco.com