My wife was asked to staff the Seafood Festival in West Sayville this past Sunday. Jen works for Saturn and they had a booth at the festival. Jen asked me to meet her there and to bring a dog. She didn't exactly need to twist my arm.
When I arrived, I was delighted by what I saw. Long Islanders were out in droves, enjoying the sun, eating seafood and watching the kids get sticky with cotton candy. It looked like fun.
After paying my 3 dollars entry fee, I wandered from booth to booth with Max (my Malinois) meeting and greeting people at every turn. We met Jen at Saturn's booth, and took a walk together. Jen, Max, and I shared hamburgers, funnel cake, and plenty of water. Max enjoyed getting his head scratched by strangers. It was fun for the three of us, but for some dogs, this situation would have created sheer terror.
Socialization as a puppy is more important then most people realize. They must be started young. When I say young, I mean a day or two after you get the puppy home. If your going to a friends house, take the pup. Going to the park, guess what, take the pup. As far as waiting for shots from the Vet, just keep the dog away from the places other dogs eliminate. Shots will be completed after the very important socialization period between 8 and 14 weeks of age.
A well socialized puppy turns into a confident, well adjusted adult dog. Training becomes easier and there is often a reduction in the development of both aggressive and fearful tendencies, a common reason for unwarranted dog bites.
Get out of the house with your dog this week. Have fun, and let me know what you would like to see in these pages. Have a great week.