I often see people posting on Facebook that they have a new puppy and they are looking to “socialize” their puppy and are looking for play dates or they are looking for recommendations on dog parks or daycares to attend.

Unfortunately when I see this I cringe.

The photo posted is when I raised litters of puppies the pen they got to hang out in exploring on their own. This however, was not the only thing I did with them. I have a ton of videos on that.

Socialization isn’t about letting our puppy play with a bunch of dogs or meeting everyone on the street.

Socialization is actually about gently exposing them to a wide variety of people, places, and situations which will permanently shape their future personality and how they will react to their environment as an adult dog.

A few things that you can do with your puppy to make them a well balanced neutral dog

– take them to pet friendly locations in Elmira like The Woolwich Memorial Centre. While there hang out, go in the elevator, watch swimming or hockey practice. Home Hardware wander around the store, even push a cart around like your shopping. The royal bank watch the popcorn being popped.
– expose them to a variety of noises, garbage trucks, pots and pans, things dropping, air compressors.
– don’t force things or make your puppy do it. Allow them to go in or on things naturally if need be give them some distance as you want them to have positive experience.
– expose them to walking on different textures. Grass, gravel, stone, wood, tarps,
– take them for car rides
– take them to your vet and do training in the lobby or stop in and weigh them and leave again.

CLICK HERE for more Dog Friendly Locations

No matter where you go or what you do, it really depends on the puppy you have. If they are shy move things slower and give them more space. Again don’t force them to do something. It’s better for them to do it naturally even with a little guidance. If your puppy doesn’t want to do something today, try again tomorrow.

Most of all have fun and work on engagement while you are out with them.