Welcoming a puppy into your life is an exciting time — but it can also feel overwhelming! You want your puppy to grow up to be a well-behaved and confident dog that you can share your life with. There's potty training, crate training, puppy teething, puppy vaccinations, learning basic obedience ... where do you start?
When your puppy is between 8 to 16 weeks old, they're in what's called an "imprint period." The things they experience during this time stick with them for life! Their brain is making strong associations between what's happening around them and whether it's awesome, not a big deal, or downright scary. The Pupstanding app's interactive checklist has 100 things to introduce to your puppy over the next 100 days.
Download it for free in the App Store for Apple users.
A quick note for Android users: The current version of our app is not compatible with the most updated Android operating system. We are working hard on an update for all versions of our app, which will include even more great features. We apologize for the inconvenience. In the meanwhile, you can still find examples of which experiences to socialize your puppy to and keep track of their progress by using our puppy socialization checklist.
By breaking experiences down into "bite-sized" pieces, you can help your puppy learn that different sounds, sights, surfaces, and being handled aren't scary at all. The last thing you want is to overwhelm or "flood" your puppy with too much, too fast. This can result in what's called "learned helplessness" and increased fear or nervousness.
You can build a strong foundation for socialization with quick and easy puppy socialization exercises included in the app. By focusing on building that foundation during the imprint period, when you're puppy is old enough to go places like the local coffee shop, farmer's market, or grooming salon, they're less likely to feel overwhelmed.
Preventive training is always better than reactive training — don't wait to get started socializing your puppy. Download the app for free today from the App Store.
In fact, interacting with dogs and people is just a small fraction of socialization for puppies. Introducing your puppy to the items in the list will help them learn that different sounds, sights, tactile experiences, seeing new people or animals, and being handled are all things not to worry about! PLUS, your puppy will learn how to focus on you around new and exciting things.
Lack of early socialization can cause problem behavior issues such as:
And these behavior issues unfortunately mean that many dogs are surrendered to shelters and rescues. The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior states, "Behavioral problems are the number one cause of relinquishment to shelters. Behavioral issues, not infectious diseases, are the number one cause of death for dogs under three years of age." Source: AVSAB Position Statement On Puppy Socialization
By taking the time now to properly socialize your puppy, you're setting your puppy up for success. If your puppy is older than 16 weeks, it's not too late to get started! Read more about what to if your puppy or dog missed early socialization.
Already downloaded the Pupstanding app? Here's how to use it!
Click here to use a desktop version of the interactive socialization checklist.