If you want a well-mannered dog who behaves around other animals and people, then you should begin socializing your puppy. The best time to start is during the first three months of his life. Your pup will quickly learn to behave in a variety of situations and interact with different people and animals.

The world is a new and exciting place for a puppy. The best way to acclimate your pup to the world is to introduce him to as many different types of people and environments as possible. A good way to begin is to take your puppy for walks in the park or your neighborhood. Let your puppy romp around and smell the grass and bushes. Allow people who you encounter to play with your puppy or give him a good belly rub. This interaction will make your puppy feel more confident and friendly around different people when he becomes an adult. Remember that you should not allow other dogs to have any physical contact with your pup until your pup has received all of his vaccines.

Once your puppy gets accustomed to meeting people on walks, you might try adding some new experiences, such as taking him to the pet store (if fully vaccinated) or over to a friend’s house for a doggy play date. Depending on your pup’s temperament and after he is fully vaccinated, this may be a good time to introduce your puppy to other dogs. A dog park gives your puppy lots of space to run around and play with other dogs; however, sometimes that can be daunting to a young dog that has not yet been around many “strange” dogs. In addition, you cannot control the types of dogs that could be playing in the park. Sometimes there are dogs that may rough-house a bit more aggressively than you or your pup are ready for or comfortable with. If you are nervous about your dog being around certain dogs, your puppy may sense your anxiety and could feel afraid. His fear could cause your puppy to not want to return to the dog park again, which could hinder his socialization.

A good alternative to a dog park is a doggy day care. At Smith Farms Kennels Doggy Day we carefully place your dog with other dogs that we believe will be compatible with each other. In other words, if you have a small and timid dog, he will not be placed with a large rambunctious dog. All of the dogs are supervised by our expert dog sitters who are able to monitor the dogs’ different personalities and behaviors for signs of stress or aggressiveness and encourage healthy interactive play between the dogs. Your pup will have a ball running around with other dogs in our large grassy area, cooling off in one of our swimming pools and eating some refreshing watermelon or other snack. When he’s worn out, he’ll be able to take a nap in one of our cozy temperature-controlled dens. After nap-time, play-time will start all over again! Our doggy day care offers a safe and affordable place to teach your pup to socialize and feel confident with other dogs and the world around him.

The more socialization that your puppy experiences with people, other animals and the world around him, the more comfortable he will be in various environments when he is an adult. When you have a dog that reacts to various situations without fear or aggression, it makes dog ownership a lot more enjoyable.