Puppy socialization classes are
being held in almost every city in America now,
though it might take a few phone calls to track one
down. Veterinarians or local trainers often know
where these off-leash, indoor puppy classes are
How to evaluate
Look for a
puppy class that allows puppies to play off-leash
and where no collar corrections or choke chains are
recommended or used. Playtime teaches pups to read
dog body language and relate without being overly
controlling or fearful. Puppy classes should allow at
least ten minutes of playtime with other dogs each
class Food rewards, elimination training, bite
inhibition, lure training, gentling exercises, and
basic Instructions are typically taught in reputable
puppy socialization class. Look for an instructor
who is skilled in helping your dog be brave but not
pushy with other dogs.
The primary goal of
socialization classes is to
safely socialize the puppy
to other pets, people and
places to help shape a
friendly, relaxed adult dog
Why is early socialization so important?
Early socialization is critical to developing a
friendly, relaxed adult dog. Puppies are
in their critical socialization period from ages 1 -
3 months of age. This is the best time to provide
your pup with positive introductions to all ages of
people, types of pets, your lifestyle, rides in the
car, and essentially all that the dog will see and
experience at home and when out and about. Your job
as the canine instructor is to create a positive
impression of these things by acting relaxed and
jolly when you are around them. Encourage but do NOT
force your dog to go near feared objects. The goal
is to build confidence gradually. Allow a slight
amount of discomfort in these early experiences to
build frustration tolerance. This prepares
the pup to handle unavoidable stress in the future
without becoming too fearful or aggressive.
Are socialization classes good
for every puppy?
The BEST gift you can give yourself and your dog
is to enroll in a puppy socialization class as
soon as possible.
Socialization classes are
beneficial for EVERY puppy and MOST beneficial
between the ages of 2 and 4 months old.
The ideal education
for puppies begins at three or four
days of age and includes
plenty of social and intellectual stimulation to
help the brain develop with maximum intelligence
and an optimal personality.
Puppies should stay
with their mother and littermates until 5 - 8
weeks of age to be weaned and to learn healthy
social skills from each other and the bitch.
probably won't have an opportunity to interact
with your puppy at this early age. Try to select
pup that receives the proper socialization
before adoption and then enroll in a