Dog professionals all over the world emphasize the importance of socializing your puppies in the critical socialization window between 8 and 16 weeks of age. It is vitally important to expose your dog to every sensory input that the world has to offer while they’re little sponges. But what can puppy owners do to help their puppies during a time where you have to stay inside and isolated? Proper socialization is considered a “vaccine against being a jerk”, so what are we to do now? Well there is great news for you puppy owners! There are games and fun things that you can do while still maintaining social distancing or staying inside completely that will help your puppy! Things like practicing grooming to playing with a crate and even having your kids dress up in costumes can all be done to help your puppy get his or her paws on the right path to becoming a calm and confident adult dog!
Situations, Surfaces and Objects
Remember, “Socialization” doesn’t just refer to other dogs. Here are some ideas to help get your puppy used to different surfaces, objects and situations inside your home! Play some fun games with your puppy’s favorite toy in the bathroom or kitchen to get them used to the wooden or tiled floor. Another great idea is placing some pans, muffin tins and metal serving utensils on the floor of your kitchen then tossing treats about. Encourage your puppy to go after the treats at their own pace, letting them navigate through the different and noisy objects.
Another fun idea is putting your puppy in a separate room then rearranging the furniture in a different room. Let your puppy out to explore and give them lots of encouragement and praise. Toss some treats or your puppy’s favorite toy to help them get comfortable to change!
Puppies and People
Another important aspect of puppy socialization is your puppy getting used to being handled. You can do this by simply touching your pup all over, legs, ears and tail! Bring out those brushes, combs and nail trimmers and let your puppy sniff and interact with them.
You can get your kids involved in helping build your puppy’s confidence too! Let your kids dress up in costumes or even some of your own clothes and shoes then let them come out and meet and play with the puppy. This will help your puppy feel confident around strange shapes and outfits.
Puppy Day Camp
During this time, Dog Training Now is still offering our Puppy Day Camp program. Puppy Day Camp is a daily drop-off and pick-up program during which your dog will be exposed to other puppies of similar age, size, and maturity level. They’ll also be exposed to new people, new surroundings, and all of the confidence building equipment and procedures that we use every day! Not only that, but a daily drive that ends up at the fun of Dog Training Now is a good way to show your dog that the car doesn’t always mean we’re going to the vet or groomer. Sometimes it’s fun!
Our Puppy Day Camp program is reserved for dogs from 8-16 weeks of age, and aside from being super cute, it’s invaluable in getting your young ones off to a good start!