What is the prime socialization period for puppies?

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There are different developmental stages of a puppy’s life that a new puppy owner should take into consideration. Learning these developmental stages will help you get your puppy on the right track towards being a happy, healthy and well socialized dog. Dogs who are not properly socialized often develop bad behaviors with humans and other canines. To avoid this situation, begin socializing your puppy at around eight weeks of age.

A puppy will have some playtime within his litter from week one to week seven. This is the time when a puppy is learning how to play with other dogs, take discipline from his mother, be a part of a pack hierarchy and be weaned from the mother’s teat. A puppy can begin being trained at five weeks, although most puppy owners will not receive a puppy until it is completely weaned at around eight weeks of age.

Weeks eight through 12 are extremely important for socializing. This prime socialization period will shape a dog’s personality and comfort level with new situations, people and other animals. Introduce the puppy to new people and situations during this period. You can also enroll in a puppy class at a local pet store or dog training center to expose your dog to other puppies.

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