Puppy training begins long before you show up at obedience class.

In addition to potty training and establishing boundaries at home, early training should include many opportunities for socialization, as well as new situations for your puppy to experience near and away from your home.

Consider this: when your puppy hears a doorbell ring – or a loud truck pull up in front of your house, it can be a nerve-wracking experience. Positive reinforcement paired with comfortable distractions and a bit of repetition can help your puppy become acclimated to the situation and react in a positive way.

Here are four great ways you can socialize a puppy, while helping to introduce a range of new situations:

  1. Acclimate around the home: Start with some familiar sounds and experiences your puppy will encounter on a daily basis.
    • Ring the doorbell.
    • Vacuum.
    • Use appliances like the garbage disposal and dishwasher.
    • Introduce your puppy to different kinds of flooring (carpeting, rugs, hardwood, tile) and their distinct sounds.
    • Introduce stairs (with assistance). One or two steps into a family room is a good start.
  2. Meet the neighbors! Start with a walk in your own neighborhood, and then gradually branch out to others where your puppy can meet friends and discover new sights and smells. A trip to the park is also great. Your puppy will be able to experience bikes, joggers, children at play, and even other pets.
  1. Socialization around town. Once you’ve mastered the experiences of your immediate surroundings, you’re ready to move abroad.
    • Take your puppy to visit family members.
    • Schedule some play dates with other puppies and dogs that you’ve met recently.
  2. Visit popular pet hangouts. First, put on a big smile with every trip to the veterinarian’s office – a place your puppy is sure to have plenty of early experience. Treat it as a fun visit, and your puppy will learn to trust it early on. Other great pet-centric locales include:
  • The pet store: Meet other pets and their parents while you browse.
  • The grooming salon: It’s never too early. A positive start is a great foundation for a lifetime of grooming. Try to keep your puppy on a monthly grooming schedule for the first year of their life. This teaches puppies positive and safe skills that will carry them throughout their lives. Also, drop your puppy off at the salon and return a bit later to strengthen the bond of trust you have. This teaches your puppy that you will always return for them.
  • Doggie daycare: Quality daycare programs will be uniquely tailored to individual dogs, including puppies, and will provide an optimal, age-appropriate level of interaction and excitement.

Socializing a puppy starts with providing a variety of people, pets, and situations to experience, while building a foundation of comfort and lifelong learning. Green Acres Pet Resort in DeForest, WI, offers sprawling countryside grounds, acres upon acres of outdoor play space, and spacious indoor playrooms specifically designed with your pup’s safety and wellness in mind.

For more information, call our team at (608) 889-2100.