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Puppy Socialization

bookCover - puppy socialization

Puppy Socialization will help me become a behaviorally fit dog!

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:

  • Food
  • Novelty
  • Sensory enrichment
  • Social contact
  • Training

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.

What is Puppy Socialization?

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.

History of Puppy Socialization

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.

Why Puppy Socialization, Habituation and Enrichment are Important

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:

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Puppy Socialization
Doggie Manners Los Angeles Puppy Dog Training
12021 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90025
Call or text (310) 804-2392
Email us at caryl@DoggieManners.com