Introducing your puppy to a variety of environments and experiences is a very important step in his training process. To develop a healthy mental well-being, he needs to know that the world is a fun place to discover. This can only be achieved through proper and continuous socialization.
Socialization is consists of preparing your puppy for healthy mental development by exposing him in a good way to different sights, smells, and sounds. Socialization also includes interaction with people, dogs, other pets and other objects like moving vehicles.
A friend of mine decided to finally get a dog. Only, he barely spent time with his dog. He thought that it would be best if he kept his dog locked up in the basement and he rarely took him out to the park or even a walk around the neighborhood. A dog should not be socially awkward like my friend's pet.
He barely allowed his dog to run around in his fenced back yard. And when he did allow his dog to run around freely in the yard, the dog would go bonkers! When ever my friend travels with his dog, the dog barks and growls at everyone that walks by. This is why it is imperative that you prepare your pet for the outside world.
So, taking your puppy to a training class is a great way to introduce him to a variety of experiences. Socializing your puppy calls for much more than teaching your dog training skills. Socialization actually trains your pet to interact with different situations, explore without fear, and get to know as much as he can about the universe around him, thereby giving him a healthy life.
First and foremost, socialization should begin in your puppy's first home and his breeder should introduce him to a variety of stimuli from the moment they are born.
For example, the litter should be exposed to a variety bedding materials to get them used to different textures and surfaces. Objects like balls, squeaky toys, bubble wraps, plastic bags, and other fun items that your will enjoy should be introduced slowly and as often as possible. This helps them approach new situations with confidence.
The following are a few examples of objects and situations that your pet should see and experience from the moment he opens his cute little eyes:
1. Introducing him people wearing hoods, hats, coats, and loud clothes.
2. Watching kids play in on the playground.
3. Watching little animals (birds, squirrels, etc. - just don't allow chasing).
4. Riding in the car inside a crate with windows rolled up and then rolled down.
5. Minimal traffic.
6. The sounds of different kitchen appliances.
7. A quick trip to the vet.
8. Going up and down a stair case.
9. Meeting new people of different ages.
10. Meeting new puppies and dogs (Keep puppy on your arms and watch him closely).
11. Meeting people who use wheelchairs, walkers, and canes.
12. Minimal crowds.
13. A flying kite.
14. Introduce your new puppy to different "odd" objects like plastic bags and fire hydrants.
15. Introduce him to a variety of sights, sounds, and smells of different objects.