10 Weeks Program – How to Socialize Your Puppy
Puppy socialization is vital in order to make sure your dog would grow up as minimum normal and stable in different environments and social with humans and animals. It is always better to concentrate on how to socialize your puppy then later start fixing problems with a grown up dog. Here is the 10 weeks program to socialize your puppy.
When I raise my dogs I apply this program which I have developed based on German Shepherds puppy socialization. When I have followed the program I never have had problems with dogs when they have grown up. Immediately when I got loose and sometimes have not followed the program problems arise. I have noticed that can happen even with the puppies that are from the best parents possible.
The puppy socialization is in my mind vital in order to make sure the pup grows up normal and social dog.
Here is the program that I apply to my pups, to socialize a puppy, which has generated positive results for me.
The Puppy Socialization Program
The puppy socialization process starts immediately when you bring your puppy home at 8 weeks age. Puppy socialization might seem easy but it is not so easy in reality considering that puppies have weak nerves and limited ability to take stress at young age. On the other hand, the younger they are, the more adaptable they are.
Most important is to plan step by step how you introduce the big world to the puppy and how he will be exposed with unfamiliar conditions where he needs to fit in so he could feel himself comfortable.
Here is the puppy socialization process that has given me good results. The weekly step by step guide to get best results from your efforts.
8 weeks age puppy socialization
Walk without a leash in fields or pasture where is not very high grass. Call the puppy with your voice, motivate him to climb over small hills and tree roots and praise him loudly for his effort.
This way the puppy will remain positive and is willing to experience something new he has never done earlier.
The tempo of the walk should be so slow that the pup can sniff around and at the same time is still being able to follow you.
At this age the pup is most dependable from you and wants to be close to you, use it. The walk cannot be more than 20 minutes.
9 weeks age puppy socialization
New walk and this time in the forest.
Puppy can walk now on much higher grass and climb over even larger obstacles which are so big that he can test his strength. Climbs on the top of the hills, comes down, climbs on rocks and on dirt piles.
Good when he could walk next to a small stream and gets wet in order to follow you. Would be good to introduce him on pile of leaves so he would be accustomed with the mysterious crackling.
Cheer him with everything he does. Praise so that he would want to go against new challenges. The walk length is about 20 minutes.
10 weeks age puppy socialization
Walks are the same as age 9 but a bit more difficult.
When you walk in the forest then once in a while try to hide yourself behind a tree. Observe the puppy, has he noticed you are missing? When he starts looking for you jump out and praise the puppy loudly. If he does not see you are missing you can try to get his attention with throwing cones or small stones or just call him from your hiding place. When he starts looking for you jump out and praise the puppy loudly.
Next time when he notices you are missing he starts looking for you by himself. That will be a lesson for him and next time you don’t need to look where he is but he is going to look where you are. And tries to keep close on you instead of running around.
Play this game in next following weeks as long as it will be impossible to hide from your pup because he starts to concentrate on you. This is a good and one of the very few exercises you can do with such a young pup.
11 weeks age puppy socialization
Teach your pup to swim when the weather conditions allow. Take him to the water till the knees between your hands and then send him back to shore. Then allow him to go to water alone, look that he would not let his head down to the water and would go to direction of the shore.
Would be good when someone could wait the pup on the land and would cheer a lot and praise him loudly. Another option is that you go to the water and motivate him in the water and to follow you.
Never throw puppy to the water.
When puppy is back to the shore, dry him and take home. Do not let the puppy get flu.
12 weeks age puppy socialization
Take the pup to the barn and show him cows, horses, chickens and other animals.
It is better to keep the puppy in the leash. Take care that it would be safe and you can go quite close to the animals.
This exercise can last 20 minutes not more. This exercise is very useful experience to the puppy. You should act like the puppy would every day visit the animals in the barn.
Do not be nervous! Puppy feels it and becomes nervous too.
13 weeks age puppy socialization
To socialize your puppy in city go for a walk in the city and keep the puppy in the leash.
Go to the main street where are many people so that puppy would feel passing people steps. Take care he would see small and large cars and other noise sources. Passing people and bicycles are good exercise for the puppy.
This walk should be no more than 10 minutes. Praise the pup for good behavior. Be active and energetic. When you arrive back to your car praise him with excellent movement and bravery.
14 weeks age puppy socialization
Walk to the Sea side or another place where the pup has not been yet.
School yard where children are moving around is also suitable. Allow children to pet the puppy, let the puppy be in the center of the interest.
15 weeks age puppy socialization
To socialize your puppy even better with the city environment which is most difficult for the dogs, especially for the ones that do not live in a city.
Go for one more walk in the city.
16 weeks age puppy socialization
The introduction to the big world around is over. You have now given him enough socialization for the good start for the life. When you did it from your heart then those lessons will build up the base for the whole life. Next you can concentrate in training lessons.
17-21 weeks age puppy socialization
This age is most unsuitable time for new experiences, travel, dog shows, changing the owner and every kind of changes.
During this period many puppies become shy. This must be the most peaceful time in their life!
Puppy socialization program successfully finished
When you have done all before mentioned you have successfully finished your puppy socialization program.
Let your puppy to develop and grow normally and when you start your puppy training classes at age 6 months in a right training group nothing can go wrong. Or let’s say, you have done everything you are able to and from there it can all only go better.
Have Fun and Enjoy Your Dog!
Love Your Dog & Happy Paws!