Unlocking the Secret to Successful Puppy Socialization: Quality over Quantity
Today, although the topic is very important, I will keep it brief. Socialization is a topic that could fill books or scientific papers. However, today I wanted to highlight only what is most important to me and in my opinion, to a puppy, in this process. So what is the secret of successful puppy socialization?
First of all, what is socialization?
It is a process that lasts throughout life, unique to each individual, involving acquiring skills to navigate in a specific environment, and also based on social interactions with people or other dogs.
What should socialization be like?
👉 High quality
QUALITY over QUANTITY
This is the most important aspect of the whole process. The fundamental mistake we can observe is the emphasis on exposing the puppy to dozens of different places, introducing them to numerous people, dogs, or other animals, having them walk on various surfaces, or showing them sixty different objects. Very often, we forget about the quality in the process.
Socialization is not about the puppy passively participating, but about actively interacting with people, dogs, animals, and objects. And the most important thing is that these interactions are valuable and of high quality. That’s where the learning comes from. Not from simply seeing 50 new places and the puppy not actively participating in the process. I definitely prefer my dog to have 5 positive, valuable interactions in which they actively participate, meaning they have social contact with dogs or humans, voluntary and not forced, with appropriate representatives of the species, rather than 50 encounters with inappropriate dogs or passive sightseeing of new locations.
Focus on the guide
What matters most to me with a puppy is that they learn to observe the world and interact with people and dogs. I don’t want my dog to have to maintain constant eye contact with me in every new situation, otherwise they will pull towards other dogs or humans. I want my dog to be able to observe their surroundings without my constant control.
Socialization does not end with checking off places, people, or dogs from our list. Successful Puppy Socialization is a process that will continue throughout our dog’s life. The early stages of a puppy’s life are particularly important, as they create a history of learning and provide foundations for future work. Let’s make sure these are positive experiences that contribute to learning.
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You must be there!