Puppy socialization is one of the most important aspects of new dog ownership. During the first 12 weeks of a puppy’s life, they should be exposed to as many new environments, people, stimuli and animals as can be achieved safely without causing over stimulation. Sociability outweighs fear during this 12 week period and after this point, if a dog is not well socialized it can be permanently difficult for them to adapt to unfamiliar experiences. Behavioral problems are the number one cause of relinquishment to shelters and euthanasia for dogs under three years old, not infectious disease.
For this reason, the American Veterinary Society for Animal Behavior believes that it should be the standard of care for puppies to be socialized before they are fully vaccinated.
We’ve compiled a list of links below to help better educate new puppy owners on socialization and training. Please speak with your veterinarian about how to minimize disease risk while not fully vaccinated. If you have any questions on puppy socialization and puppy training, please give us a call. We love talking about this topic!