SOCIALIZATION of Puppies & Dogs.
We call socialization the process through which the social animals learn how to face and relate themselves to the exterior world. People who have had children know that they need to be around other children so they can learn how to live in the surrounding world. A well socialized child will usually grow to be a well socially adapted man and the same thing can be said about a puppy. A young dog needs to learn what the surrounding world is like, what men, children and other dogs are like, so they won't fear them in the future and react in a proper way in their social relations.
Neonatal Period: The first two weeks of life
Newborn dogs are like blank sheets of papers in which everything is about to be written. However, even when they seem to ignore how to behave outside their mother uterus, we shouldn't let them fool us: the puppy totally depends on its mother to get fed, keep its corporal temperature and be physically protected, but it is not as needy as it looks.
What to do.- Even when the puppy can't hear or see, we should take them and touch them. They live in a world of smells and tactile sensations and they are perfectly prepared to begin getting used to our smell and our caresses. barking dog collarTRANSITION PERIOD
Between Two and Four Weeks
In this period the puppies progress incredibly fast. Their ears open and begin to react to strong noises showing sign of fear. They also open their eyes and soon they begin to react to light and moving objects.
What to do.- Prepare the puppy for the socialization phase, trying to make the environment more varied and complex every time in order to let them learn to face numerous changes on the domestic environment. citronella collar dog training
Between Four and Twelve Weeks
Puppies go into the socialization period approximately at the fourth week of life and the eight following weeks are the most critical of their lives as well as the most important from the training and educational point of view. In fact, it has been proven that the puppies that have not had contact with humans between the fourth and the twelfth week of age will avoid future contact with them, they will be afraid of people and may be impossible to train them without professional help in the future. At the end of this period, the thinking patterns of the puppies and their capacity for concentration are already similar to the one of an adult dog.
Most of the puppies are left with their mother until they are seven or eight weeks old. The weaning is produced during this period and the puppies must face the severity of their mother when it denies to breast feed them and the frustration of not being able to do it. They also learn here, by playing with their brothers, to interact with other animals, to adjust the strength of their bites and to assume their social status that they weight up by competing with their litter partners for the resources. At this early age, it is already possible to observe the first manifestations of their hunting and sexual instincts. With four or five weeks of age, both, the male and female puppies can already get on top of each other while playing as well as getting on top of a toy and shake it hard as if they were killing a prey.
What to do.- As the puppies are usually left with their mother until they are already on the socialization period, it is the breeder or owner's responsibility to get them used to the different noises, smells, textures, images and voices that are produced in a domestic environment. So, when you pick the puppy, it should have been exposed to a great quantity and variety of stimulus. Before taking it away from its mother, the dog should have known many different people and something really favorable for the puppy would be familiarized with as many elements of the everyday life as possible. Any puppy that is still not properly socialized is in need of urgent help.