Puppy Socialization

The secondary human socialization period is approximately 7-12 weeks of age. During this time, puppies learn bite inhibition with people, and how to interact with other species besides canines, among other things. This is the best time to start learning house training and begin formal training/socialization, and to go to their new forever home.

In our experience, puppies that go to their new home too early (before 8 weeks of age), and miss out on the primary canine socialization period, tend to end up lacking some skills in human socialization as well. They tend to seem disconnected from their owners and more easily distracted in group classes. And their skills in bite inhibition leaves something to be desired... they usually bite harder than their behaviorally healthy counterparts.

Also during this time, puppies go through a Fear Impact stage (8-11 weeks), an Enrichment Period (8-16 weeks), and a stage called "Seniority Classification" (12-16 weeks)... It's a good time to start a puppy class with pain free training and socialization, promote positive social interactions and new experiences, avoid physical trauma and elective surgeries, and be careful not to let anything bad happen.

  • Hire a professional dog trainer early in the process
  • Obtain your puppy from the right place at the right time
  • Learn and practice good animal husbandry and handling
  • Puppy-proof your home (we can help with this!)
  • Set your puppy up for success
  • Get and keep your puppy UTD on vaccinations
  • Enroll your puppy into Puppy Kindergarten classes
  • Arrange regular visits to new (controlled) places
  • Positively expose your puppy to many different people
  • Let them explore at their own pace

If you need help choosing a specific breed for your needs, finding a reputable breeder or rescue, picking out your puppy from the litter, or puppy-proofing your home, please contact us!