Wednesday, September 20

The importance of early socialization for puppies

Why Early Socialization is Important?
An early socialization will help the puppy to develop better in the social environment. Early socialization means more social dogs. It is generally accepted that during the period from 3 to 14 weeks of age, the young puppy’s social and physical environment will profoundly affect his personality and behavior in his future life.

In order to achieve a docile and balanced adult dog, it is important that the young puppy is exposed during the “period of sensitive development” to as many normal physical, social and environmental stimuli as possible (including contact with other dogs, animals and people).

Puppies that are not socialized or properly trained may react fearfully to unfamiliar stimuli during their later life, causing behavior problems, including fear aggression.

How does vaccination interfere with early socialization?

Many owners and veterinarians understand refractory to allow puppies for playing with other dogs until one or two weeks after completing the primary vaccination program.

In many cases this has meant that the puppies have not had the opportunity to obtain a complete socialization during “the period of sensitive development”.

This is why many serious behavioral problems in later life may be related to a relative lack of early socialization.

It is very important to protect your puppy against diseases as early as possible so he can go out and play with other dogs.

From what age is my puppy protected?

That depends on the vaccines used and the vaccination program which your veterinarian uses. There is a vaccination program that protects your puppy after 10 weeks. Ask your veterinarian about this program.

Nature has equipped the dog and the cat with the ability to pass some of their immunity (antibodies) to their puppies. Most of this immunity is acquired through the first milk (colostrum) during the first or second day of life.

This “natural” immunity of the mother may allow the puppy to resist the disease and usually limits the effectiveness of the vaccination over a period of several weeks. The natural immunity then decreases to a point where the puppy will become susceptible to the disease. The goal of a vaccination program is to minimize the period during which a puppy is susceptible to the disease. The puppy usually requires two or three vaccinations to ensure that they are protected against the disease.

The advantage is that your puppy runs less risk to catch a disease and can leave before playing with other dogs. That in turn greatly benefits the social development of your puppy.

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