Spring is the season for puppies. Puppy time flies by. So keep in mind that experts say you have a small window for socializing your little dog when it comes to puppy training.
Dog trainer Ian Dunbar, who founded the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, has an easy-to-remember guideline to follow when you’re getting out and about: He recommends that you help your puppy meet 100 new people before his 12-week birthday.
This might sound like an impossible feat when you’re up to your ears with puppy work, from house-training to puppy-proofing. But your pup can meet a number of people from a quick trip to the pet store for food (and not-yet-shredded toys!), or an hour at the park.
Dunbar and the Association of Professional Dog Trainers recommend a number of tips to help accomplish this 100-in-12 rule. Beyond trips to the park, it’s also easy to meet other puppy parents at obedience class. Holding a “puppy party” and inviting other young dogs to your house–along with their parents, and their children–is a great way to help socialize your dog.
If your pup is on the shy side, monitor how he or she reacts to larger groups. It may take time to get your dog accustomed to larger groups. Be patient.
Did you keep track of how many dogs your pup met in his or her first months? Let us know in the comments.