Three fluffy caramel colored dogs face the camera. The dog in the middle has his paws up on a green box of Get Joy's dog food and products. There are green bushes in the background.

Ready, Set, Socialize: The Puppy Playbook for Safe and Savvy Socialization

Socialization is one of the most important parts of any dog’s training. After all, you want your dog to be able to behave around strangers and other dogs safely and appropriately. Socialization will be a lifelong process—that’s why it’s important to start when your dog is a puppy.

Ultimately, there is a right way to socialize since you want your puppy to remain safe and confident as they experience new things.

What is Puppy Socialization?

Firstly, let’s cover what puppy socialization means, as it is commonly misunderstood. Some people think that socialization is simply getting your puppy used to other dogs, but this is not the case.

Socialization is essentially allowing your puppy to experience a wide array of new things, including places, noises, diverse people, and animals. The primary goal is to create positive experiences of these things for your puppy.

How to Socialize a Puppy

Introduce Them to New Stimuli

Everything is new to a puppy, so you want them to have positive experiences with all kinds of sights, sounds, smells, and feels. For instance, have them experience hardwood floors and carpets, outside noises at the park, different types of people, other animals, and more.

Also, make sure to get them used to your touch. Touch and pet them while lying down and touch their paws to get them comfortable. In the future, this could help them feel more comfortable with things like nail trimming. Ultimately, try to expose your puppy to as many new things as possible, while keeping their experience positive.

Use Treats and Praise

To keep the experience positive, you can give your puppy treats and praise for doing well with new experiences. This helps create a positive association with those experiences.

Puppy Playdates

If you have friends or family with puppies, schedule a puppy playdate to help them gain experience with other dogs. Moreover, your puppy can meet your friends or family members for more experience with different types of people.

Don’t Force It

If your puppy is visibly anxious or uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to remove them from the situation, as this can create a negative experience. Pro tip: take baby steps with things they are uncomfortable with.

Gradually Increase Experiences

As your puppy becomes more confident, you can begin to increase their experiences. For instance, start at home and then take them out to pet-friendly stores or parks. 

Puppy socialization classes can also be a great way for extra socialization after your puppy is fully vaccinated.

Get Joy Is Here to Help

Along with socialization comes prioritizing your dog’s health and wellness. This includes gut health, mental health, and overall total body wellness. That’s where Get Joy comes in! Check out our freeze-dried meals, superfood treats, and science-backed supplements—you won’t regret it.