We have incorporated
into our Doggie Manners website.
Puppies go through developmental periods just like people do. In fact, we learned about human developmental periods through the research of Scott and Fuller (a 13-year study in the 1950s). They studied dogs because they wanted to know about what influence genetics had on behavior. They said, “Anyone who wishes to understand a human behavior trait or hereditary disease can usually find the corresponding condition in dogs with very little effort.”
They studied five dog breeds and performed a series of behavioral and environmental tests on them. Their findings are documented in their book Genetic and the Social Behavior of the Dog. Their findings still hold true today, although there have been slight modifications.
Scott and Fuller discovered that there are certain times in a puppy’s life when, in a nutshell, a little learning goes a long way. How puppies learn and are raised as puppies influences them the rest of their lives. They found that the primary socialization period for puppies was from about 3-12 weeks old. Additional research by others has extended it to 16 weeks, but the first 12 weeks are the most important.
Puppy socialization has several components:
- Primary socialization – dog to dog
- Secondary socialization – dog to other species including humans
- Habituation – getting used to things in the puppy’s environment
- Environmental enrichment – when we introduce new things into the puppy’s life to help him learn and how to problem solve
Breeders can help in determining behavior by:
- Stimulating their nervous systems
- Stimulating their senses
- Giving their puppies toys to play with
- Giving them problems to figure out
- Teaching them simple commands
When the puppies go to their forever homes, new puppy parents can help by continuing their puppy’s socialization and education through:
- Sensory enrichment
- Social contact
Puppy Socialization: An Insider’s Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness gives you hundreds of ways to help your puppy to become a dog that you are proud to have – and one where people comment on how polite and smart he is!
Click here for the Table of Contents.
Please refer to my posts below on puppy socialization for some excerpts from the book.
The term “socialization” has several definitions depending on whom you are taking to and what that person’s background is.
When dog owners speak about “socialization,” they generally mean they want their puppy to get along with people and other dogs.
Dog trainers along with some certified animal behaviorists and veterinary behaviorists have a different definition of socialization which encompasses exposure to different people, animals…. Read More.
John Paul Scott and John L. Fuller, in their 13-year study beginning in the 1950s at Bar Harbor, Maine, summarized in the classic book Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog (1965), set out to answer the question of what influence, if any, heredity had on behavior. Although they wanted to understand human behavior, they said, “Anyone who wishes to understand a human behavior trait or hereditary disease can usually find the corresponding condition in dogs with very little effort.” … Read More.
When a puppy is born, he does not know that he is a dog. It must be learned through the process we call primary socialization. He must also learn how to interact with humans and other animals and also to be comfortable in his environment. That’s why puppy socialization, habituation, and enrichment are important while he is a puppy…. Read More.
If you’d like to purchase Puppy Socialization: An Insider’s Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness – and I certainly hope that you do! – here are the links: