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The Truth about Puppy Socialization [Best Age and Benefits]

Updated by Sheryl on Sep 18, 2021

Dog socialization is educating your puppy to behave appropriately around other animals and humans, which can introduce your puppy to a variety of events she may encounter during her life. Socialization acclimates your puppy to new settings and builds their confidence in unique circumstances. This aids in the development of your pup into a well-balanced, confident dog. And this simplifies your life as a pet parent significantly.

puppy socialise with another dog
Why should dogs be socialized as early as possible
What age is best for puppy socialization
Why is puppy socialization important
4 Benefits of puppy socialization
Tips for puppy socialization

Doctors and dog trainers agree on the need to socialize your puppy from an early age. The younger your puppy is, the easier it is to socialize him or her. This is because as pups mature, they develop a greater level of caution when confronted with novel situations. The early weeks are critical since the majority of puppies will approach anything or anyone readily and fearlessly.

While socializing older dogs is feasible, it will likely take longer, be more complex, and maybe more frightening for your dog than it would be for a puppy. Beginning early can help you, and your dog avoids extra difficulties.

Pups are most adaptable to new experiences between the ages of three and twelve weeks. Following that, they have a heightened sensitivity to novel stimuli.

Puppies as young as 7 to 8 weeks old can begin socialization classes. Veterinarians suggest at least one round of vaccinations and the first round of deworming seven days before socializing.

When your puppy reaches around 12 weeks of age, everything unfamiliar will almost certainly be treated with caution.

After the first 13 to 14 weeks of your canine's life, it is critical to maintaining socializing and exposure to different surroundings. The true socialization period for puppies will end at 14 to 16 weeks of age. So, a puppy must meet a range of people, circumstances, and different animals between 3 and 14 weeks.

two puppies

Stages of puppy socialization

The time of socialization is separated into two parts. Primary socialization (canine socialization) occurs initially, and secondary socialization occurs second (human being socialization). This is the time period during which the dog develops communal bonds.

Period of primary/canine socialization: 3 to 7 weeks

This is the phase during which the puppy comes to terms with the fact that he is a dog. During this stage, he must remain with his canine mom. Organized group activities must be provided during this stage.

Period of Secondary/Human Socialization: 8 to 13 weeks

The secondary socialization, starts when a canine departs from his dog mom to start his new life, generally occurring at 52 days. Dogs should be exposed to various sorts of individuals during this period.

puppy socialization with human

Dog socialization is more than just a fun way to show off your gorgeous new puppy. Providing your puppy with a range of good experiences in the real world guarantees that he will have the behavioral tools he needs to cope with anything life throws at him in a positive manner.

Puppies who have been well-socialized can develop into confident, happy canines who are able to adapt to a wide range of social situations. If your puppy feels comfortable in a range of circumstances, he or she will be less likely to resort to aggressiveness during times of fear. Failure to socialize your puppy might result in potentially harmful circumstances in the future. After toilet training, socializing may be the most essential activity you and your new puppy undertake together.

TIP: Dogs under the age of three die most frequently as a result of behavioral issues.

puppy running training
Dogs who have been well-socialized become fine canine citizens! Here are 4 benefits of puppy socialization:

Puppies that did not have the opportunity to connect with other animals in the past are typically frightened of strange events and circumstances - such as meeting new people or travelling. Anxiety can be alleviated by socializing your dog via activities such as going to the dog park or going to doggy daycare.


By socializing with your dog, you will help them acquire new positive habits and help them become a more well-rounded pooch! When each new contact carries with it good reinforcement and experiences, their self-confidence is certain to increase. Various encounters and experiences may be had, ranging from having a neighbor stroll past the house to crinkling a water bottle to turning on the lawnmower. In the long run, this will make activities like hosting parties or dining at dog-friendly restaurants much more enjoyable and stress-free!


Socializing your dog will result in a more contented pup in general – and that will make you a very happy pet parent! With lots of fun, opportunities to meet their best furry friend will increase, and your pooch will be happy and calm when they return home.


Puppies that spend their time socializing with, exercising with, and playing with other dogs and people enjoy longer and healthier lives than those who do not.

Daily walks are critical. Simply taking your puppy for a stroll in a public area can help him become more comfortable with the environment and the people around him.
Change it up.
Be prompt.
Take dog training classes.
Amass Treats.
Visit a dog park/pet store.
Pay attention to your dog's cues.
Can a puppy be socialized after 16 weeks?
No, after 16 weeks, it is very tough to socialized puppies. The actual window of opportunity for complete puppy socialization is between 8 and 12 weeks. So try to train your puppy in that time frame.

In a nutshell, you should begin socializing your puppy as soon as you bring it home. This enables you to increase the complexity of the situation without overwhelming them gradually. You may start by acclimating them to being lifted.

Are four months too late to socialize a puppy?
Dogs may be socialized at any age, but it is most critical between 8 weeks and four months. Dog socialization is acclimating your dog to a range of people, locations, and circumstances.
Sheryl is an editor from iPetor, owns extensive pet care experience. As a professional writer, she can provide useful pet care tips for all "parents".
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