As a new owner, it is very exciting to introduce your new puppy to your family, friends, and the rest of the world. However, teaching your new puppy how to navigate the world with confidence and gentle manners is encouraged.
Classes dedicated to puppy socialization are the perfect way to prepare your pet for new and exciting situations. Puppy socialization classes are organized play that acclimates your pet to new sights, sounds, smells, touches, and friends.
When is the right time to socialize your new puppy with others? Before three months of age is the perfect opportunity for puppies to adapt to new experiences and friends. The American Veterinary Society and Animal Behavior (AVSAB) explain that within the first three months of age is when “sociability outweighs fear.” Owners should take advantage of the window before three months of age when puppies do not fear being social.
ASVAB explains that introducing your new pet to puppy socialization classes before three months of age provides benefits like “improving training, strengthening the human-animal bond, and socializing puppies in an environment where the risk of illness can be minimized.”
Additionally, the American Veterinary Medical Association agrees that it is safe for puppies to engage in puppy socialization classes 7 days after their first round of vaccines and first deworming.
AVMA explains further that early socialization is essential because “while veterinarians are appropriately concerned about infectious disease in young puppies, the fact is that behavioral issues—not infectious diseases—are the number one cause of death for dogs under 3 years of age.”
Puppy socialization classes provide a safe and supervised learning environment. Safe socialization includes minimized risk of illness as well as safe and gentle play.
While your new pet plays with the other puppies in class, certified trainers will introduce healthy social skills like gentle mouths and other safe interactions. Constructive and affirmative training approaches are used when addressing you and your puppy in class. New experiences and skills are then followed with positive reinforcement, creating positive associations with these skills.
Early puppy socialization classes can have beneficial effects on a dog’s behavior all the way into adulthood. Your puppy builds confidence in exploring new places and meeting new people in the class. The confidence your puppy gains in class is a quality that will be used for the rest of their life.
As an owner, you can also learn a lot about your new pet through puppy socialization. Learning about your pet helps to strengthen the human-animal bond.
The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) Journal explains that: “All dogs are individuals, with their own preferred way of interacting with and communicating with other dogs” and how “it is up to us to watch our dogs to learn about their preferences.” Watching your new pet navigate puppy socialization classes allows you to see how your pet learns and interacts. Once you establish your pet’s preferred learning style, you are able to implement those tactics into your bond at home.
ASVAB warns owners that “behaviour problems are the greatest threat to the owner-dog bond” and “are the number one cause of relinquishment to shelters.” Puppy socialization classes help to alleviate behavior problems from an early age and help to build long-term bonds between humans and animals.
Puppy socialization classes offer numerous benefits to improve your new pet’s view of people, animals, and the world. For more information about Paws4Training’s puppy socialization classes or puppy day camp, contact us today!