Socialization includes interacting with the dog through play, grooming, praise and generally providing love for the dog ( HYPERLINK “http://www.spca.bc.ca” http://www.spca.bc.ca). “The purpose of socialization is to be able to take your dog any place, any situation, and have it stay calm, relaxed, and confident.” ( HYPERLINK “http://dogs.about.com” http://dogs.about.com)
Socialization of a puppy should commence the first few weeks after bringing it home. This is the most important time to start the socialization process. During the first few days the owner should provide a busy schedule for the puppy so they don’t fear being separated from their littermates and/or mother.
Between the age of 7 and 10 weeks, the puppy will go through a phase, feeling a loss of self-confidence. During this phase the owner should increase the socialization effort until the puppy has relearned and adjusted their behaviour. After this phase the puppy should become bolder in confronting new people, animals, and situations. Intense socialization should continue through the first year of the dog’s life and they should be involved as much as possible in the owner’s daily activities.
Without socialization some dogs become more aggressive, others may appear to be the opposite, more shy or timid ( HYPERLINK “http://www.peteducation.com” http://www.peteducation.com). The socialization process should not stop after year one. There should always be some degree of reinforcement of social skills and training throughout your dogs life. Socialization may also be necessary for adult dogs that are adopted or purchased. Take time to assess your dog’s level of social interaction. It is extremely important that you immediately begin helping to socialize your dog in areas where it is weak ( HYPERLINK “http://www.paw-rescue.org” http://www.paw-rescue.org).