Position Statement:

The Importance of Puppy Socialization

THE PET PROFESSIONAL GUILD POSITIONS, STATEMENTS AND OPEN LETTERS ARE

“INFORMED BY SCIENCE, GUIDED BY EMPATHY AND GOVERNED BY ETHICS” TM

It is the position of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) that effective animal training lays the foundation for an animal’s healthy socialization and training and helps prevent behavior problems. The general pet-owning public should be educated by organizations and associations to ensure pet animals live in nurturing and stable environments to better prevent behavior problems. Consistent with this effort, it is the position of the PPG that proper puppy socialization be addressed as vital to a dog’s development with an ideal socialization period starting at four weeks of age and continuing through four months of age. The PPG considers this to be the critical socialization period for dogs. PPG advocates for socialization to accompany puppy vaccinations rather than waiting to socialize a puppy until after the vaccinations are complete by which time the critical socialization period will have been missed. According to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior – “puppies can start puppy socialization classes as early as 7-8 weeks of age. Puppies should receive a minimum of one set of vaccines at least 7 days prior to the first class and a first deworming. They should be kept up-to-date on vaccines throughout the class.”

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