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Should You Procrastinate Your Dog Social Training until after vaccination?

Congratulations on bringing home a new puppy! One of the most important things you can do is to socialize with your puppy while they are still young.

Puppy socialization is vital in raising a happy, well-behaved, and confident dog. Lack of socialization during puppyhood can lead to behavioral issues such as leash reactivity and fear-based aggression.

This begs the next question, when is the best time to start training your puppy for the outside world? Why do some professionals advise you to wait until your puppy is fully vaccinated, while others advise you to get your puppy out into the world as soon as possible?

Here's our take. But first;

What exactly is Puppy Socialization?

Socialization entails gradually exposing a puppy to various experiences they may have throughout their lives. Sights, sounds, textures, changes in the environment, and more. It's not just about a puppy playing with other dogs or meeting new people, though those aspects are important.

Above all, it is about assisting a puppy in making positive associations with these experiences and making them feel safe.

Interactions should be carefully planned and managed to prevent a puppy from becoming

overwhelmed or learning undesirable behaviors (like jumping on people or pestering other dogs).

You must be aware of body language suggesting your puppy is unsure, scared, or stressed. Tail tucked, ears back, and wide eyes are obvious signs, but there are many more subtle cues.

Because socialization is more than your dog meeting other dogs and new people, you can do plenty of socialization activities before your puppy has finished their vaccinations, whether at home or on puppy-safe "field trips".

How to Socialize Your Puppy Before Vaccinations.

There are numerous myths about socializing the little fur balls before they have finished their vaccinations. However, you do not need to wait for the puppy vaccinations to be completed before taking them out for socialization.

The best time to social train your puppy is between 8 and 12 weeks. And if your puppy is a little older when you bring it home. All you have to do is start socializing as soon as possible!

It is critical to socialize puppies from a young age. A socialized puppy develops into a stable, well- behaved, and relaxed adult dog. Socialization entails much more than simply acclimating your dog to the presence of other dogs. You must socialize your puppy with various situations, people, other animals, sounds, and textures early to be less aggressive and prepared as it grows.

Here are 5 of the best ways to socialize a puppy before they're fully vaccinated.

Exposure to Sound:

Dogs are can be terrified of strange sounds like the vacuum cleaner, a passing truck, or fireworks.

Exposing your dogs to different sounds is an important part of the socialization process, and you should expose them to potentially frightening sounds. They must learn early on that these sounds are associated with good rather than bad things.

Begin by gradually exposing yourself to various sounds at home (the vacuum cleaner, grinder, hairdryer, and so on). Associate the sounds with some tasty treats, so your dog understands that these sounds indicate something good is on the way.

Visit a Friend's:

Trips entail car rides, which can be frightening for some dogs. You can begin with short car rides to places close by. Taking them on trips would allow them to practice their socialization skills away from home in a completely new environment.

Play hide-and-seek at home.

To begin with, this is a fun game for socialization at home - you can hide and let your pup find you. While doing this, you are acclimating your puppy to different rooms in your home and different flooring.

Many dogs find certain floors to be slippery and frightening. However, you can always use positive reinforcement to help your dog understand that these floors aren't as frightening as they appear!

Use treats (you'll need a lot of them at first!) to encourage your dog to explore the slippery floors.

Tasting of Treats:

You can teach your dog about different tastes and textures by using treat tasting. You can always get your dog to try new treats and foods as long as they have no food allergies. Make them work for the treats by being inventive with puzzle toys.

Mashed bananas, crunchy carrots, cucumbers, apples, sticky peanut butter, or sweet potato crisps. You can train them while introducing them to various treats, so the treat-tasting sessions serve two functions!

How to Social Train Your Puppy After Vaccinations:

After your puppy has been fully vaccinated, it isn’t advised to keep puppy training at a basic level still. Here are two tips for training your dog after vaccination.

Participate in a Puppy Socialization Program.

Enroll your puppy in a class taught by a reputable trainer who offers comprehensive puppy

socialization programs. Look for a trainer who has extensive experience and goes beyond simply allowing puppies to interact with one another.

The class size should be smaller (the smaller, the better!), and instructors should teach puppies all types of socialization skills rather than simply letting pups play with each other.

Go Beyond Playgroups:

You enrolled your dog in a socialization class, but is that enough? Not at all! In addition to the socialization class, you should have fun with your puppies and allow them to explore the world positively.

Bring your puppy to see, smell, and experience new people and places to help them socialize. Allow them to explore the playground, climb up and down equipment, meet new people, and play with other puppies!

When should I start training my puppy?

Begin training right away! It doesn't matter if your dog is 8 weeks old, 10 months old, ten years old, etc. Create your foundation from the start! If you're training properly (as we would demonstrate if we scheduled your first lesson before the dog's arrival), training won't feel like training; it'll feel like a way of life.

In summary.

What is the most secure way to ensure your puppy gets enough exposure to the outside world? First, participate in a low-volume puppy class. Waiting to train your puppy after six months isn't suggested or effective for the pup's growth.

And if you need professional assistance, you can register your pup for our social training class or find more information below!

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