|Barked: Sat Sep 21, '13 11:54pm PST |
|Socialization windows certainly do exist (if done correctly).
Socialization is done to bring the fullest potential out of the pup-- I'm sure you've met dogs that have never been socialized and they were amazing regardless.. but if they had the added exposure as a pup they (could) be 10x as amazing.
I personally feel like this important stage of their puppy life is 10 weeks to 20 weeks. At 8 weeks old they can begin being introduced to things, but I do not think it has as big of an impact as between 10 - 20 weeks, which is when they are the mouthiest and actually learning their bodies and surroundings.
An important thing to remember is that puppies are puppies.. They tire and get bored easily. Although socialization is good, too much can be bad.. When puppies are tired they are cranky, they feel they are losing control of everything around them and are essentially flooded by stimulus. This turns what was once a positive experience into a negative one and can cause your pup to react badly if you continue to flood them.
Also remember that each minute is just another minute closer to something bad happening. I remember when Nare was a pup.. We would be at the dog park for hours, I thought I was 'socializing' him. But he would be tired and then other dogs would pick on him because he was tired and couldn't play back.. so although he got to play for a long time and have fun, it was ended with a negative experience. One step forward and two steps back.
With saying that, stop while you're ahead . Lingering and hanging around is never a good idea for the potential of something negative happening.. Keep things short (10 - 20 minutes), but frequent, allowing rest. Be aware of your surroundings..
Oh yeah, and have fun. that is the #1 rule with puppies.
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