During this time of global uncertainty, there are parts of our lives that have been put to the back burner. If you have (or will soon have) a new puppy at home, it is imperative to keep up their socialization during these times of isolation. A puppy's critical (or social) period ranges from around 3 weeks to 3 months of age. This is the time when puppies can readily accept new things or people and still feel safe.
With the following advice I hope that you can start your puppy off on the right foot. Please share this blog with as many puppy owners as you know!
First and foremost, click HERE and download the puppy socialization checklist from Dr. Sophia Yin's website. Near the end of the blog you can click on the link to download the puppy socialization checklist. It gives a good outline of all the different things puppies need to socialize to, and one can tweak these during isolation.
Using a gentle leader can help you keep your puppy's head where you need it to be, looking up at you while sitting.
However, socialization is not just getting your puppy used to meeting other dogs or strange people, it is EVERYTHING in this dog's world. This is easy to do from home without anyone around (you might have lots of free time right now anyway!). Again, refer to Dr. Sophia Yin's checklist.
With everything going on in the world, making sure your puppy is well socialized can seem small. However, this time will pass and when it does, you will feel good knowing that you provided your newest family member with skills that will carry it through its entire life.
Dr. Juanita Ashton, BSc, DVM, ACDBC-IAABC is a certified Canine Behavioural Consultant, and one of the owners of the Elmsdale Animal Hospital