After 12 weeks the window to socializing them closes quickly. They become more leery and less trusting of new things and people. There are many ways to socialize your puppy in the early stage, but always discuss with your vet vaccinations required and safety precautions when around other dogs. Here are some simple and fun ideas on socializing your puppy.
- Have a new puppy party- Invite your friends and family over to meet your new furry bundle of joy. Play the pass the puppy game. Everyone sits on the floor or in a chair. Place your puppy in someone’s lap. Let them pet and massage your puppy, pass your puppy to the next person, etc. Your puppy will get lots of love and start trusting people.
- Take your puppy to pet friendly places. Here is a great list of stores that allow dogs. Always check with the manager first though. If your puppy is small enough, carry it around and let people pet it. http://barkpost.com/dog-friendly- stores/
- Take your puppy for car rides to places that allow pets. Don’t just take your puppy in the car when going to the vet or they will be scared whenever you put them in the car in the future. Riding in the car should mean good things happen (like treats, new toy, attention from people, etc.)
- Plan a play date with a friend’s dog, but be sure that it is current on vaccinations and is friendly with other dogs. Schedule as many play dates as possible.
- Enjoy outdoor events with your puppy.
- Introduce your puppy to all kinds of people …. male, female, tall, short, lean, heavy set, different races, different nationalities, loud, quiet, young, old, toddlers, teenagers, etc.
- Introduce your puppy to friendly cats too.
- Make sure you take plenty of treats and always reward your puppy for calm and happy behavior. If your puppy ever seems uncomfortable or stressed, keep your introduction short.
- Continue to socialize your dog throughout its life. You will have a happy and balanced dog.