How To Socialize a Puppy

This article was sniffed out in partnership with Go Anywhere Dog, your Minneapolis-based dog training biz that helps your pupper become a well-behaved dog with stellar social skills who can “go anywhere” with you. They’re pros on how to socialize a puppy, so listen pup!

From dog-friendly restaurants to liquor stores, your ride or die goes everywhere with you. And for places to stay dog-friendly forever and ever, doggo needs to mind his puppin’ manners. Starting the socialization and training process as a puppy sets the stage for successful outings in the future so you can live by the motto “not without my dog.” Read on to learn how to socialize a puppy. 

Puppy Socialization Classes

When they’re in their cute, squishy puppy phase, it’s easy (or easier at least) to see past any destructive behavior (aww, Bingo unrolled the TP), but that’s precisely the time to nip those behaviors in the bud. Between 4-18 weeks, puppies experience so many firsts, and at the same time determine whether those new encounters are safe or dangerous.

First and foremost, consider a puppy class (your shoes will thank you). Go Anywhere Dog’s Minneapolis puppy classes cover the following topics:

  • Potty training
  • Chewing the wrong stuff (which is most stuff)
  • Dog body language
  • Fear + aggression prevention
  • Leash skills
  • Coming when called
  • Resolving play biting
  • Appropriate puppy play
  • Distraction skills

At the end of the class, pup’ll know recall, spin, and fist bump, and be ready for socialization outings.

Go Anywhere Dog trainers posing in front of Love statue
The Go Anywhere Dog team hard at bork.

Puppy Socialization Field Trips

Next pup, it’s time to build socialization skills by going on a sniffari. Let pupper use his super sniffer to discover the world wherever you go. Go Anywhere Dog recommends dog-friendly stores because your puppy will experience the essential pieces of puppy socialization–walking on different surfaces, hearing different noises, and seeing all kinds of people of all ages.

Some options for dog-friendly outings include Lowe’s, Home Depot, Nordstrom, and Bachmann’s.

Need a little help on your sniffari? Check out in-home dog training for a little extra attention for behaviors at home or out in the real world.

Sniffari Packing List

Pack your pup diaper bag with the following essentials:

  • Tasty training treats to redirect your pup (positive training only; you want pup to view the new experience as safe)
  • Sanitizing spray + cleaning cloth for any messes
  • Poop bags (obvi)
  • Soothing toy as a pacifier, such as KONG or bully stick

In-Store Manners

The best way to keep your favorite dog-friendly businesses dog-friendly is by being on your best behavior. Follow these etiquette tips:

  • Walk outside the store to let doggo potty, but still be prepared to clean up any messes while you’re inside
  • Use training treats to redirect puppo away from anything those clumsy puppy paws could break
  • Never let your puppy come into physical contract with another human or dog unless invited to do so
  • Don’t distract service dogs or their handlers
  • Avoid these top 5 most common muttsakes

The more places you take your puppy for training trips, the more used to it she’ll be. And before you know it, you’ll have a Go Anywhere Dog, so you never have to be alone in public again. We love to hear it. 

Have other tips for how to socialize a puppy? We wanna hear them in the comments below

Go Anywhere Dog is a Minneapolis-based dog training biz led by dog life coach, Jody Karow. Her pack helps your pupper become a well-behaved dog with stellar social skills who can “go anywhere” with you. Check out their e-courses for puppies.

Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagramthen check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

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