I highly recommend a good puppy class. A good puppy class starts puppies off learning the very basics and how to focus in the presence of other dogs. We have excellent classes here in MN. (Great great blog on why puppy classes matter: Puppy Kindergarten Vs. Obedience Class: What?s The Difference? ? Dr. Jen's Dog Blog
Paws Abilities has ongoing puppy classes and is a great place to train: https://pawsabilitiesmn.com/classes/
Bloomington Obedience Training Club has puppy classes.
St. Paul Dog Training Club St. Paul Dog Training Club
Denise Nord does puppy classes at Agile Canines - I've done mine with her and highly recommend her.
I would call NOW - some places have a waiting list. I would absolutely make a drive to have my puppy in a class, and would have a pup in a class right away - I don't wait until they are 16 weeks.
I'd also recommend doing a lot of walks with other dogs where you are simply together but not necessarily interacting. It's good for puppies to learn that they don't always play when they are with other dogs.
It's also super important to get pups out to places where they just observe the world. Places like Lowes, Ace Hardware, etc are dog friendly but aren't high traffic with other dogs.
Too often we think of "socialization" as exposing our dogs to other dogs, when it's really acclimating our puppies to being out in the world. I really like to just take puppies lots of places and let them experience life and have positive experiences. Make sure they do things like ride in elevators, go in a parking garage, watch kids play on a playground...and socialization is all ongoing.
This is an awesome post from Denise Fenzi on what she was doing for socialization during the pandemic and how it's changed her thoughts on socializing: https://denisefenzi.com/2020/05/car-socialization/
I will stop now, but I could go on and on about this topic...
Richter & Sypha
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