Why One Should Put an Emphasis on a Puppy’s Socialization
There’s an old saying which states that one can’t teach an old dog new tricks. It’s not true on a purely technical level. But this can be seen as a rather pedantic view of things. The spirit of the statement is instead just saying that youth comes with a certain mental flexibility not found in old age. While the saying is meant as a metaphor for humans, it really is true for dogs as well.
A puppy and an adult dog can both learn about a new setting. But the puppy will adapt to it faster and more fully than the adult dog. This is one of the main reasons why it’s so important to train dogs as early on as possible. And it’s also why socialization is a vital part of this process.
Consider how children learn to talk. Speech is a fairly natural part of human life. But it still takes constant immersion for a child to start to get the hang of it. Now consider how much more difficult it would be for any other species to learn human language. Every species has natural instincts intended to make intercommunication easier.
But it’s quite a different thing for them to have to learn to communicate with a whole other type of mammal. But that’s exactly what we expect from dogs. And they are up for the task. However, success is often dependent on just when the training begins.
An adult dog will struggle if he’s trying to learn how to fit in with humans for the first time. But a puppy is an altogether different story. As with human babies, a puppy is hardwired to pick up on social cues. He’s learning just what it means to be a dog. Instincts will cover some of that. But the more intelligent an animal is the more it’s able to learn when it’s a baby. And as most people know, dogs are extremely intelligent.
When dogs get older that learning phase closes to some extent. Much of this has to do with survival in natural environments. When an animal is a baby it can depend on its mother to protect it.
This means it’s able to spend every minute learning and playing. It’s learns what is and isn’t dangerous by watching mom. But by the time an animal reaches adulthood it can’t afford to just stand idly by while potential dangers approach. It needs to be more wary of the world as a survival method.
Of course all this leads to an important question. How does one actually ensure a dog learns socialization to the full extent of his potential? It begins by looking for local classes. For example, someone in Houston would look for a puppy class Houston adjacent.
There’s a few reasons why someone in this position would want to look for a local class. But one of the most significant is the simple fact that different areas have very different environments. Humans don’t have much sense of smell. A human relies on his eyes, while dogs tend to rely on their sense of smell. And they learn about their environment through local scents. Staying closer to home makes them more comfortable. In this case that would mean they’d learn more with a puppy class Houston adjacent.
Finally, by starting to learn about humans early in life they’re also reinforcing another positive behavior. The young puppy gets a chance to learn alongside other puppies. Human children learn best when their peers are part of the process. And puppies are no different in that respect. When they’re around other puppies they’re not just learning from the humans. The puppies are also learning by watching how other puppies adapt to the process.