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When to Begin Socializing Your Puppy?

There's a short window when socialization is possible in young pups, so make the best of it.

By
Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA,
March 22, 2012

Q: I just adopted a new puppy. When is the best time to start socializing him?

A: Different experts will give you different time frames, ranging from 12 to 16 weeks old. But I urge you to play it safe—socialize diligently from the minute you get your puppy home.

The catch about socialization is that it’s a window of opportunity and when it shuts, it slams shut. Individual puppies will vary, too. However, without good socialization, your puppy will likely be shy and skittish as he grows up. And with experience, he may learn that going on the offensive can drive away the things that frighten him, leading him to lunge or snap at strangers.

Want to raise a happy dog who loves to play and cuddle -- but still comes when called and doesn't chew up your favorite shoes?

Then check out The Dog Trainer’s Complete Guide to a Happy, Well-Behaved Pet!

 

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