Puppy Socialization

Puppy socialization is the most important thing you can do to produce a confident, well-adjusted dog. See how Mike Stewart introduces his puppies to new people, places, and things gradually, and safely. And, how you could help your puppy manage their fear and reach their full potential.

Introduction To Puppy Socialization : Video Transcript

Mike Stewart: Puppy socialization is about people, places and things. We want these little guys to become totally confident in their home, and their environment with things that they're going to encounter in the garage, in the yard out, and out and around in the community. It's about other dogs. It's about places. It's about cars, boats, anything that they could encounter in the community. And this process begins at a very young age.

In the socialization process and introducing new people, places and things we watch for the fear factor. The fear factor is a reaction to the puppy, backing up, raising its hackles, expressing some type of concern or fear. One thing you don't do with a puppy is wade into that process. Take thunder, for instance, some people have a concern when they see their puppy react to the thunder, "Oh my goodness." The reaction normally would be, is you pick the puppy up, you rub the puppy. You're actually entrenching that fear. You get this little guy flying by, we pick him up. He's afraid of thunder. And I stroke him, you're really reinforcing the very thing you don't want, the fear itself.

What you would do is put the puppy on the ground, give him something that he likes to do. Distract the pup, get out of his favorite toy, get out his ball, let him chase it. Give him something that takes his mind off the sound, what he's afraid of, and get them accustomed to it.

The goal of socialization is exposing your puppy to people, places and things. The first 16 weeks are so important to the puppy's development. So, get it right from the start.