Socialize your puppy!!!!
This is a great article (see below) on recent studies about the benefits of early puppy socialization programs. New puppy parents are still informed to keep them home until they are 16 weeks of age and fully vaccinated. This is not the best advice if you would like to have a happy healthy confidant social adult dog. Socializing means exposing them to a variety of sites and sounds and people and children and men all well before 12 weeks of age. You do this by strolling them, carrying them, carting them, and driving them.
Do not put them on the grass or dirt or sand at this point. Also, do not expose them to dogs that are. It’s potentially no healthy and you do not know if they like puppies or not.
Extra Early Socialization for Puppies Makes a Big Difference By Zazie Todd, PhD
A new study by Dr. Helen Vaterlaws-Whiteside and Amandine Hartmann (Guide Dogs National Breeding Centre) (2017) tests an improved program for socializing puppies in the nest from 0 – 6 weeks. The program provides additional socialization in a way that is relatively cheap, easy to implement, and designed to fit with what science tells us about the development of puppies.
In comparison to puppies receiving the regular socialization program, the puppies who got extra socialization got better scores in tests at 6 weeks old. By 8 months of age they were less likely to have separation-related behaviours, general anxiety, be distracted, or have body sensitivity.
In other words, the extra socialization brought important benefits for their behavioral welfare as young adult dogs. These results will be of particular interest to those who breed and train service dogs, but they are important for anyone who cares about dogs – especially those looking to get a puppy.