Puppy Socialization

Although the topic is very important, I will keep it short. Socialization is a subject on which we could write books or research papers. However, today I just wanted to highlight what is most important in this process.

First of all, what is socialization?

– it is a process that lasts a lifetime, specific for each individual, consisting of acquiring skills to move around in a given environment. It is also based on social contact with people or other dogs.

What should socialization be like?

– secure

– comfortable

– voluntary

– good quality


This is the most important thing in the whole process. The fundamental error that we can observe is the emphasis on taking the puppy to dozens of different places, meeting dozens of different people, dogs, or other animals, walking on several different surfaces, or seeing sixty different objects. We often forget about quality.

Socialization is not about passive participation in it, but about interacting with people, dogs, animals, objects. And the most important thing is that these interactions should be valuable, good quality. It is from such interactions that the lesson comes. I would rather not see fifty new places and a lack of active puppy participation in the whole process. I definitely prefer the dog to have five positive, valuable interactions in which he actively participates, i.e., has social contact with a dog or other human, voluntary, unforced contact, with an appropriate representative of a given species, then fifty meetings with inappropriate dogs or passive visitations in new locations.

Concentration on the handler

What I care about a puppy is that he can observe the world, interact with people and dogs. I do not want him to have to maintain eye contact with me in every new situation. Because  otherwise, he will lunge on dogs or people. I want my dog to be able to observe the surroundings without my constant control. It is a crucial skill we tend to forget. Imagine your kid running to every single person he sees on the street. He is super kind and friendly. But it can get him in trouble not only socially but also physically fit he runs through a busy street just to high five his school buddy. and the only way you can prevent it is if you show him cookies or his favorite toy, each time you see his friend across the street. It is the exactly the same with dogs. 

Socialization is a process

Socialization doesn’t end after checking places, people, or dogs from our list. Socialization is a process that will last throughout our dog’s life. Initially, it is essential in puppy life as it creates the history of reinforcement and provides foundations for further work in the future. Let us make sure that these are positive learning experiences. For more information and professional courses visit tromplo.com

We can’t make associations for our dogs, but we can make sure we have done our best arranging contingencies in which these associations are created. Let’s play it in our favor!