How Long is that Puppy Socialization Window?

Did you recently bring a new puppy into your family? Socialization is the best way make your puppy comfortable within human society. There are many variables that can affect the way he acts: noises, sights, people, smells, and other animals. Training your dog early in these different environments can avoid a lot of problems.

What does socializing your puppy entail?


Once your dog starts to age, it can be difficult to socialize and train. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” kind of applies to socialization. Without proper socialization, as your dog gets older, he will be more apt to be on edge about anything new that comes across his path; whether that is a leaf blowing by, the barking of another neighborhood dog, or a bird singing. Your dog needs to be concerned about dangerous situations, like an aggressive dog or something coming after him, but he can’t be on edge every time something moves or makes a sound.

Puppies are the easiest to train and most open to new experiences between 3 to 12 weeks old. After twelve weeks they start to become cautious and hesitant of any new encounter. Not only is socializing your puppy a good idea because it will benefit you early on and in the long run, it makes him a better companion for you. Well-socialized puppies are more relaxed and easy going pets! You never know what situations might occur when you’re walking one day. Your dog may feel that you need to be protected from a stranger walking by. A well-socialized dog is more likely to give a warm welcome to others you pass on the street.


Make time in your daily schedule for socializing your puppy. Classes and one on one training will benefit the two of you. Cold Nose Lodge offers Puppy Kindergarten classes to get your new furry companion at ease in different situations and allows him to make friends while learning! Formal training sessions are not the only way to socialize your dog. In addition to classes, take him for walks in the park and get him used to noises and other people walking with their dogs. Let him see how fun it is to walk with you in a calm manner and not jump all over the place. It takes time but any time you have will be valuable. Consider it an investment in the future dog you will be living with for the next 10-16 years.

Grooming, nail clipping, and bathing are also a huge obstacle you should have your dog over come early on. Part of the Puppy Kindergarten Classes at Cold Nose Lodge help lead them into the tub without water and reward them so they understand positive reinforcement. The class also teaches them to go through obstacle courses and walk on different surfaces while being around other puppies and owners at the same time!

In between class times, start to play and rub your puppy’s paws. This early handling will help keep your puppy from being afraid when you or someone else goes to trim his nails. If you have a dog that gets groomed, letting other people touch and pet your dog is extremely important. You do not want your dog to be scared or bite a groomer or anyone that is taking care of your dog’s health, such as a veterinarian or the techs.

Cold Nose Lodge has helped many dogs since opening in 2008 and is staffed with amazing trainers that give dogs the courage they need to overcome their fears. There is no situation we are unfamiliar with, so feel free to stop by or call one of our trainers for advice. Cold Nose Lodge offers free half hour training consultations with one of our very talented trainers to get an idea of things to work on with your new pup!

We also offer a variety of training harnesses that don’t pull your pet! They’re simple and easy to use, so why not give them a try? If you mistakenly started training with a prong collar, you can trade it in for a $10 discount on one of our training harnesses. We love dogs and we want the transition for you and your puppy to go as smoothly as possible!