Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Socializing Your German Shepherd Puppy

German Shepherd puppies want to be socialized. Dogs are not lone animals. In the wild, dogs travel in packs. Socialization with other dogs is not a foreign concept. But socialization with humans isn't built into a dog's psyche. Dogs are the only species, though, that can totally adapt to living with humans. (Don't hate me, cat lovers. I like cats, too, but cats pretty much do as they please. They can cohabitate with humans, but they are not by nature social animals.)Puppies need to be socialized with humans early on.

German Sherderd puppies do not thrive when they are isolated. A puppy has been removed from his social environment (his mommy and his brothers and sisters) and now he must accept a new social situation. He may be timid. Many puppies are very timid, and a bit of timidity is actually a good thing.Beginning when a puppy is six to eight weeks old (even sooner is okay) a puppy should be introduced to a variety of people. Even introducing a puppy to children who are calm and gentle is a good thing.

By the time a puppy is about four months old and has had all of his shots, he needs to be socialized with other friendly dogs as well. A puppy also needs to experience environments other than the owner's home so that he won't be nervous when he must travel.Socializing a dog isn't a difficult process. You do need to avoid rambunctious children or aggressive dogs. You don't want to frighten the puppy. You want him to come to accept humans other than you and do so without becoming alarmed or aggressive. A well-socialized dog is a pleasure. He's calm, but he's watchful. He expects to be accepted and treated well.

SincerelyDebra Garrison, DVM

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