We all know how important a puppy’s socialization period is. You must be wondering what you can you do with your puppy to expose them to various people, places and things during this short period in their life. A puppy’s socialization period begins around the age of 3 weeks and ends at approximately 14-16 weeks of age. Read on for tips of how you can safely socialize your puppy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why is it so important to introduce your puppy to new things during this time? Your puppy’s brain is developing and it’s prime time to absorb and learn. Puppy socialization does not mean that your puppy is only meeting and socializing with people and dogs, rather it means having positive encounters and interactions with all sorts of things from people, sounds, objects, places, animals, etc. It’s beneficial to continue socializing them after this period, but this is optimal time for introductions which will set them up for how they view things in the future.
I’ve put together a short list of activities you can do safely from a distance and even from the comfort of your home!
Activities you can do:
☑️ Set-up an X-pen or have your puppy on leash and watch your neighbourhood activities from the safety of your home. What will your puppy see? Neighbours coming and going, walking their dog, taking out the garbage, joggers, children playing, cars passing by, etc.
☑️ Play dress up! Model some of those whacky outfits you have, try on a pair of sunglasses, wear a hooded sweater, a raincoat, a hat, odd clothing and parade around the house with your puppy. This sets your puppy up for encounters with people outside wearing similar clothing. Have other people in the household do the same too!
☑️ Play vet with your puppy. Place your puppy on the kitchen counter or dining table and do a physical. Run your hands over their body. Check their ears, mouth, paws and nails.
☑️ Go for car rides! Car rides are fun and help to reduce chronic carsickness later. Drive to your local grocery store parking lot. Park a safe distance away from all the hustle and bustle with the windows up. Sitting with your puppy in the car watch shoppers as they go in and out of the store and push their carts around. It’s a great way to see people and also conditioning to the sound of carts and the sight of them also!
☑️ Show and smell! Take out some equipment, camping gear, vacuum, spare tires, bicycle, garbage bins, whatever you have and let your puppy check them out. Lay them out in your backyard, front yard, garage, basement, wherever you have room and let them have a sniff or two. Basements and garages are great places to explore too.
☑️ Sniff and Strolls. With your puppy on a long lead (not a retractable leash), take them out with no real plan in mind and let their nose lead you. Parks are off limits because of recent social distancing measures, but around the neighbourhood sidewalks would do. Have them explore at their own pace.
☑️ There are also sounds you can search on Youtube and play from your computer or phone. Some examples are fireworks, road noise, drills, children playing. Play them quietly at first so you don’t startle your puppy and gradually increase the volume as they get comfortable. There are also sound apps you can purchase from the App store or Google play store.
I hope you found this post helpful. Please follow https://www.facebook.com/trizanedogservices for additional tips and videos. Do not be discouraged about not being able to take your puppy out for a romp in the park, meet new doggos or introduce your newest addition to friends and family. These tips will help you both get out, stretch your legs, stay motivated, be productive and overall feel accomplished that your raising a well-rounded dog in these challenging times and set them up for success when all goes back to normal. We’ll all get through this together.
Until next time, stay safe.
Author: Reanna Ali (From TrizaneDogServices.com)