Friday, April 8, 2016


Socialization…’Till I’m Blue in the Face

In the middle of a conversation with a daycare client the other day, I was interrupted with, “…I know, I know. Socialization, socialization, socialization.” The client rolled her eyes as she said this, and we both laughed. She’s heard my mantra many times and she knows I’m passionate about it.

What she might not fully understand is why I’m so passionate about it. Well, the main reason is that proper puppy socialization and continued socialization during adolescence and adulthood is at best a matter of whether or not a dog will stay in his home, and at worst a matter of life and death.

I get calls from people all the time who tell me, “I have a 6 month old puppy who needs to be socialized.” I am not at all diplomatic in informing them that a.) their dog is not a puppy anymore (I don’t care how it acts or how cute it is, it’s a teenager!) and b.) they have missed their opportunity for beginning socialization. I am blunt in letting them know that anything we might do now is remedial socialization. We must now remedy the lack of socialization.

To say that we’re going to start socializing a dog at the age of 6 months is like keeping a child away from others for the first 14 years or so of his life, then deciding it’s time to send him to public school. He simply will not have the skills, confidence or ability to interact in an acceptable manner. Can you see that it would be much more difficult to learn these things at 14 than it would have been at the age of 3, 4 or 5?  Read the entire article

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