Safe Puppy Socialization: 3 Tips - Jim Burwell's Petiquette

Who Knows Best About Safely Socializing Your Puppy?

dog training Houston, Jim Burwell


Every “dog professional”, whether a trainer, veterinarian, animal behaviorist, agree that puppy socialization is critical.

Let’s face it,  no one wants an aggressive puppy or dog no matter what the cause.

Early puppy socialization is the key in avoiding fearfulness and fear aggression towards people and other dogs.

But, that to has be done before the age of 5 months!

Heck, most new puppy owners don’t even get their puppy until they are 2 months of age.

That means there is just 3 months to cram in tons of people and dogs to build his confidence and social skills fast.

Friendly is what you want.

That’s why we are on a quest with Keeper: 100 people in 100 days!

Lots of dogs too!

Here’s the Puppy Socialization Rub: Vets vs Behaviorists

There are differing opinions about whether you should be socializing your puppy outside before he’s been fully vaccinated.

Springtime is high Parvo virus season so your veterinarian will say, “Wait until he’s been fully vaccinated.”

On the other hand, a dog behaviorist will say, “Start socializing your puppy as soon as possible and do it before 5 months of age.”

That behaviorist will also say the window of socialization closes by 5 months so have your puppy meet 100 people in 100 days.

The Puppy Socialization Challenge

Little puppies need tons of exposure and socialization to people, kids, dogs and all kinds of stuff that is strange to them.

The sound of lawnmowers, weed eaters, big trucks and so much more.

The sooner your puppy can get used to and comfortable with all these things, the friendlier and more confident he’ll be when he grows up.

The Big Question: How do you avoid the risk of deadly diseases and still safely socialize your puppy sooner than later?

There are safe places to socialize your puppy.

3 Tips to Help The Challenge of Early, Safe Socialization of Your Puppy

First Puppy Meet and Greet at Home Depot Where Dogs Are Welcome.

We took our new lab puppy Keeper right out of the car and put him on some towels in a shopping cart.

I held his leash to make sure he didn’t jump out of the cart.

He seemed eager to experience this new place. Little did he know he was about to meet 30 plus new people too!

We took tons of his favorite treats to make this a positive experience.

Even getting in the moving cart could have been a scary thing but he soon settled down with treats and his favorite chewy.

We also went around his lunchtime and each person that petted him gave him some of his kibble for lunch!  They loved his sign!


dog training Houston, Jim Burwell


Take your puppy to visit a friend’s dog that is vaccinated.

Let him experience supervised play in their back yard.

Make sure that meet on leashes just in case one or the other is too overbearing.

You do not want your puppy to get overwhelmed or traumatized during play.

Let them do an on-leash butt sniff first, then it’s down to the business of play!

Remember, food treats are a great way to associate good things with appropriate puppy play.

You might even try and call your puppy out of play, praise and treat him, then send him back to play.

Don’t be surprised if you get two puppies coming to you!


Invite known friendly dogs to play in your back yard with your puppy.

It goes without saying that the same rules apply at your home as away at a puppy friend’s home.

Leashes on for new “meets” then let the leashes drag “if needed” so that you can step on them to prevent issues.

Once all puppies are doing okay, the leashes can come off.

It’s even great to have 1-2 puppies or dogs over for a group puppy play date.

Mature dogs that play nice can be an asset for teaching young puppies the rules of socialization – how to approach and how to enjoy play.

Learning good bite inhibition with other puppies and dogs will help you deal with any puppy biting issues in your home.

Before you know it, your new puppy will be well on his way to having great social skills and developing the confidence he needs to comfortable in his new world.

A Couple of Pointers For This Social Process

  1. Our vet said we could begin our challenge a week after his first round of vaccinations so check with your own vet for your puppy.
  2. Check before you go in just to make sure your Home Depot allows dogs as they may not all have the same policy.
  3. So what are you waiting on? Get socializing!

Together We Can Raise A Happy and Obedient Dog

You got your dog for a reason. You wanted to share your life with a happy and loving dog. But now, your dog has big problems and life is not happy.  I can help you get that happy, well behaved dog back no matter where you live. We’ll do private lesson in your home OR we can do private video lessons where geography is no longer a roadblock.