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zeusy 12-03-2013 09:54 AM

Hi, Just a quick question about socialization. Are their really windows for socialization? Ive read different articles some saying the window closes at 12 weeks, some saying 16 weeks, some saying 20 weeks.

Another question is whether anyone knows of any targets for socialization e.g. 100 people before 3 months of age?

Thanks in advance.

Baillif 12-03-2013 10:01 AM

Depends on who you ask. There are windows where socialization techniques are more effective. General rule of thumb for those is younger the better and you generally have a better time of things if it isn't smack dab in the middle of a fear period. Outside of those windows or if you think you missed one you don't just throw up your arms and give up. Socialization is still effective outside of those windows, you will just maybe have to work at it more.

Where a lot of people make the mistake is they assume they socialize in those windows and then they can just stop. That is not the case. You socialize throughout the life of the dog but certainly want to make special note to do it a lot in the first year and a half to two years of the dogs life.

Wild Wolf 12-03-2013 10:06 AM

As a general rule, socialization is a life long thing. I continue to socialize my male to new things. For puppies, provide lots of great socialization for the first year of life especially when they are 10 - 20 weeks of age. That's my guidelines, anyway.

Baillif 12-03-2013 10:09 AM

Best lectures I've seen online on the topic. Worth a look through. They get posted here A LOT.

zeusy 12-03-2013 10:15 AM

Thats brilliant everyone thanks!

Has anyone got any ideas of special things to socialize a dog to early on?

Baillif 12-03-2013 10:24 AM

The videos cover that. You more or less take them out with you into the world and feed kibble around strangers dogs and whatever else happens to bother them. If they have high prey drive you can play with them with a puppy shammy or tug etc.

The basic idea behind it is you aren't just exposing your dog to things that are potentially scary to them and allowing them to decide on their own if it was a positive experience. You are using primary or secondary reinforcers (toys and food or praise) to engineer good vibes around the potential triggers. Direct interaction with the strangers or dogs is unnecessary, and depending on who you ask or what your training goals are, potentially detrimental.

Gretchen 12-03-2013 10:53 AM

I agree with Wild Wolf that it is life long. Just like humans go through developmental stages in their life, so do dogs. Yes, the more exposure the better, but many dog owners find their dog changes when it gets to the adolescent stage. Then you might wonder where your sweet puppy went. Our dog who is now 3.5 yrs, went from sweet puppy, to protector/ guard dog, to miss independent. She is very well socialized with dogs, she is learning to be nicer to people. This is difficult for her as we have many crazy people in our area that she should be wary of.

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