This week's Tip focuses on the concept of proper socialization, which is the most critical component in helping a pup become a socially confident adult dog.
Appropriate broad-ranging "socialization" refers to the process of exposing young pups (especially important between their 8th and 12th week) to a wide variety of experiences, including but not limited to, interaction with other dogs/pups, humans of all different ages, sizes, shapes and colors, and novel environmental stimuli. Appropriate means that the pup has only pleasant/non-threatening experiences during exposure.
Sounds like a tall order, and it is, but properly socializing your pup will help prevent social sensitivities from developing in adulthood, which is not an easy thing to deal with.
Below are two excellent articles on the topic. The first is a Position Statement from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, and the other is a great article on why siblings and roommates "don't count" when it comes to socializing a pup to other dogs.
Check out the archived Tips section on woofology.com for more articles on the importance of early and appropriate socialization, and feel free to pass it on to your friends and family!