Puppy Socialization Guide – the BEST and SAFEST way!

This 30 minute video is a guide on how to socialize your puppy in a safe an easy way. The video begins with an introduction to explain the method. Then I break socialization up into easy to follow steps using lots of footage of socializing my puppy Halo as an example.

The way this video approaches puppy socialization is setting up the environment for success to reinforce the social behaviors you want while creating a positive emotional response. Approaching puppy socialization as if training a behavior. Breaking the training up into steps. The puppyโ€™s prior history and genetics will determine how fast you move through the steps.

Dogs and babies website:
Read the articles here to learn how to train your baby, child and your dog who share a household.

3 hour complete guide to puppy training: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dbzPoB7AKk
Go check it out game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkCzgZxZi2I
Attention game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiziN7mluz8
Capturing Calmness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wesm2OpE_2c
Building interest in food: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knYNa0U5QZU
Understanding how movement affects your training: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71T6K9IU9P0
Common errors training using food: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4n6LIEOkWxk

42 Comments on “Puppy Socialization Guide – the BEST and SAFEST way!”

  1. Beautifully explanations with lots of examples & scenario every time. Love the way you break tutorials down into achievable steps for our dogs, handler/owner. Your explanations are always very easy ti understand & so also remember. Thank you so much.

    Thank you Judy Patterson for helping to make these tutorials possible. Without you & others like yourself this high quality, time consuming & expensive to produce channel would be difficult/impossible to keep going. Your support is helping many thousands of dogs worldwide (my dog & I included) your support is very much appreciated, it truly is. Thank you so much.
    As always Emily absolutely loving all what you do. Thank you for relentless dedication, commitment, sharing your valuable knowledge, & posting yet another fabulous tutorial. Thank you so much. You are absolutely amazing.

  2. Most professionals tend to forget how they started,
    how hard it is when you raise your first puppy and
    just don’t know.
    But you return to the basics again and again.
    That’s your gift and a blessing for us.
    Thank you for this super tutorial.
    I will watch it many times.

  3. Great video Emily, especially like the example of what stressed looks like. Learning to read your puppy’s body language could be a video in itself. Well done yet again ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. What a fantastic video! I love everything about it. When I brought my youngest rescue into our house I had a female dog who was chill and a male who would try to fight any new dog he could reach. I was extremely cautious with my old little reactive guy, and started them out on separate floors but in earshot. I used a treat robot (he was already trained to the robot) to reward him when the new dog made noise. I took things very slowly with removing space, visual barriers, using a muzzle, and within 3 days they were making friends. A few years later they are bffs and play constantly. Unfortunately I wasn’t as cautious with my chill girl and when the new pup got his (puberty and health problem related) onset of anxiety, they started having problems getting along. So now I really have to be careful with them and always encourage them to be tolerant of each other, and never let them have food near each other when I am not right there. If I had taken more time for my chill girl and encouraged a more positive relationship between her and the new dog at the beginning (like I had for my reactive dog) we might have avoided some of the more scary things like his tooth narrowly missing her eye when she got too close to his nose ointment (he considered that his food). Alas. Luckily as we get better at encouraging tolerance and preventing guarding situations, they are getting more and more comfortable around each other and the last disagreement was vocal only which is SUCH an improvement!!!

    Also, I had a similar experience to you when getting my SCUBA cert to get started in aquarium work. Pool was great, then suddenly we were in WA in frigid saltwater, all the extra wetsuit thickness and the hood and super low vis, and I couldn’t descend. My instructor was awesome and encouraged me to do some snorkeling that first day. After the snorkeling I was fine, so we made up the 2 dives I missed the first day once we got back. If you ever want to try again on your SCUBA cert, the open water classes pay super poorly so instructors who are making a living off of those try to pump as many people through as quickly as possible. If you pay for private (or small group) instruction it is way less pressure. Getting your cert in cold water is better preparation for all kinds of diving, but tropical diving is so much more pleasant. I would never dive cold for fun now. We spent 8 years on Guam and the diving is amazing, although if you go to the less developed islands in the chain it’s even better.

    But I am glad we have you in dogs now. I feel like dog training really needs you, while positive and humane training is much more standard/expected in exotics and aquatics. Although it’s amazing how behavioral training and enrichment has spread through the taxa in zoos and aquaria between when I began in the field through my injury and transition to dogs up till today.

    Thanks again for the great video on a very important subject!!

    1. Yeah, I didnt go into detail, but it was many triggers, it was Feb here in san diego so freezing for me in the ocean, and I felt like the wet suit was strangling my neck.. besides the visibility and depth. Oh and the male instructor was doing gross things like trying to put a crab from the bottom of the ocean on me… Anyway sometimes dogs just dont get alone as easily as others. It could have been that. Dont beat yourself up.

    2. @Dog Training by Kikopup I used to dive our Japanese Spider Crab exhibit and it would freak out my coworkers because inevitably a curious gigantic crab would climb on my back and ride around like the weirdest backpack…they have these couple-feet-long legs but they are super slow and dopey critters. And I knew they were there and harmless going in, they just look weird๐Ÿ˜‚

      But people who harass wild animals in the ocean for amusement make me feel stabby. I don’t think I would have gotten on well with that instructor! I hope you get a chance to try again some time. It’s pretty magical. Even in fishtanks! ๐Ÿ˜„

  5. This is all very good advice…recently I was out with my puppy and It went extremely well. When we went out she was not feeling it and when we got back home she was super stoked ( awesome experience). I had a HUGE gut feeling we should stop, pack it up and go back home….we were out about 30 mins to an hour. She was super happy and so was I but I followed my gut I went home and she had a wonderful day.

    I always follow my gut…I agree..,I think it should never be too long when building a good experience…it should be short and sweet. I feel like each puppy is an individual but my gut tells me when my puppy might get over tired and a mentally over tired puppy can become overwhelmed suddenly.

    I wish everyone would watch your video. I have a firm approach but I entirely agree with all of your points. Its good solid advice.

  6. I’ve been binging on your videos for the past week since putting a deposit down for a new puppy! I’m nervous, I want to teach this puppy right and have him be the best dog he can be, but also so excited! Your videos will always be here to help!

    1. I feel like it was long overdue. Someone emailed me and asked about stuff, saying they had read something on a website and I was horrified at the info that exists on socialization in the public domain. All the good info is $$$ and hard to find…. like at the conferences I attend.

    2. @Dog Training by Kikopup It’s truly shocking. I didn’t know any better either. Even the good advice is often not detailed and broken down enough- it’ll work for a lot of puppies, but many others will be overwhelmed. Your videos have helped me so much.

  7. I have been binging your content for a few hours now, and I LOVE your approach towards everything, as well as how informative and easy things are to follow!
    I won’t be getting a dog/puppy for quite some time (maybe a year or two), but I’m already preparing myself with the information you provide, as well as what I’ve learned myself!
    My sister has a Springer Spaniel puppy that I constantly visit and work with, with tips and tricks I’ve picked up on throughout the years, and he’s come so far already at 5 months!
    I still love learning new things that I can work on, your channel has provided such things and I’m so thankful for that!
    Keep up the good work! โ™ก

  8. I love your videos! We are getting our first puppy in a month and I am so excited. Do you have any tips on introducing the puppy to our cats? I have been planning on making a puppy play den and putting the puppy there first so the cats can smell and watch from a far. Also making sure that everyone is safe and not forcing anything. Any tips would be welcome! Greetings from Finland!

  9. This is a brilliant video. I too thought puppies were a blank canvass and at 17 weeks, with a lot of hard work, I’m really seeing the baggage he’s come with. He was ridiculously excitable right from the get go and I’m using all the calming measures seen here and am seeing a difference. But whether or not I will get a calm dog that greets people nicely and can control arousal behaviours . . . I don’t yet know . . . it’s slow going. Can positive reinforcement overcome genetics? Emily?

    1. Yes ๐Ÿ™‚ It can. Keep going ๐Ÿ™‚ And its not the worst problem to have. Every dog has an issue. Sure there are some easy dogs… and of course people will boast it is their training. Halo my latest puppy is an easy dog, he really is. He makes me look good and I really didnt have to work on any behavior issues. Its really not me, its him. But my dogs with issues, damn they took more work. But in general, most puppies make you feel overwhelmed at some point and wonder if you were in your right mind getting them to begin with. Yes we can change behavior. ๐Ÿ™‚ It just takes a little more effort than with the easy peasy dogs that the person giving you advice has… haha.

    2. @Dog Training by Kikopup Such a positive reply Emily. It’s given me the heart to keep going. Puppy training class was a disaster. He was so aroused and just wanted to greet all the other dogs. Everything I taught him went out of the window. The trainer said, ‘You’re not firm enough with him’. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Oh my gosh that is so amazing! I used to think the same thing and my mindset has changed as well, just from my own research and educating myself through books and videos and articles, training clubs and other trainers as well as 4-H. but we came to the king same conclusion and I never heard anyone say it the same way I think it until now,
    thatโ€™s amazing!

  11. Thank you so much for this incredibly valuable information!! I simply can’t stress it enough! The internet is filled with terrible, amateurish, downright dangerous, wrong information, so that it’s difficult to stay on top of things and you don’t know who is trustworthy anymore. It is my dream to have a puppy one day, and the fact that your videos will always be there is extremely reassuring.
    You should be the Nยฐ1 trainer on Youtube, but people fall for smiley attitudes, great editing and sensationalistic clickbait-thumbnails… I honestly believe that your content could mean the difference between a happy dog living a fulfilled life and and a dog being surrendered into a shelter for behaviour problems after “training” with aversive methods failed.

    1. Its an interesting thing. I go on youtube when I need to learn something, how to use my editing software, my camera, Ive even fixed my ride on lawn mower and dishwasher…. but when it comes to dog training… I feel sorry for people looking for info here. I took a long break from youtube. It was too much for me at that point in my life. My channel actually was one of the top channels but I started getting the hate mail and stalkers associated iwth that. So I just went into the professional world of dog training and conferences. After many years of traveling the world and one year doing 2 counties a month… I went back and saw youtube… and saw I was burning out from traveling and preaching to the crowd… When I could just be home with my dogs and teach the lessons I have learned to more people than at conferences where everyone is on the same page. So Ill keep at it. Im not here to entertain anyone… I am just here as an education channel.

    2. @Dog Training by Kikopup And education is exactly what we need, at least the people who really care about the well-being of their dog. There is more than enough entertainment available anyway. Thanks again.

  12. Thank you so much for your videos! You offer the best videos for dog owners by far! So much better and more informative than many other videos out there and it’s clear you love dogs so much by the way you present your material!

  13. After 12 years of trying to manage my dog’s aggression and reactivity, and blaming myself for getting everything so wrong when she was a puppy, I can’t tell you how relieved I am to hear you say that there is a degree of genetics and personality at play! I certainly did get things wrong even with the best intentions, but many other puppies would have taken stupid human errors in their stride and turned out just fine – but my prey driven, adrenalin-junkie, ferocious working Patterdale Terrier wasn’t quite so forgiving and lived her life being furious at everything. I lost her in November 2019 and I still miss her being her impossible cranky self every day, but tomorrow I collect our brand new Border Terrier puppy – I hope I don’t mess it up this time and that he gives me an easier ride! Thank you for your great videos, if you come to the UK please train me. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  14. I always tell my clients that puppies are more like play-doh; they have their own characteristics and traits and while you can still mold and shape them, they will always still be made up of that original material ๐Ÿ˜Š

  15. At 17:50 min in the video, we at last see your puppy being ‘normally’ excited and distracted and trying to run away from you to meet his environment. THANK YOU FOR THAT. He’s always calm so it’s hard for us to believe you had to go through what we go through. I would suggest much more videos where we SEE you struggle with let’s say an excited dog, and slowly solve the behavior. As you say, some dogs are a lot calmer by nature, history, genetic, past experience etc We are under the impression that your dog was almost born calm and perfect

    1. To be honest, when you show a dog behaving badly the dog is rehearsing the behavior you dont like making it more likely to happen in the future and harder to train out. The part you linked, I knew in 1 second that wish was beginning to herd the cars and normaly I would have left instead of creating a teaching moment. I rarely do that. And doing that with wish made it probably so I had to spend an extra week training her to not herd cars. If I had let it go on longer for the audience to see, it could have been a problem for months. By quickly interrupting undesirable behaviors redirecting and reinforcing appropriate behaviors is why my dogs look so calm. I show them what to do in small easy steps rather than let them fail and get stressed just to prove they are a normal dog.

  16. So so helpful. My arthritic 10 year old collie is highly unimpressed with my new poodle puppy. Working on keeping them calm and separating when necessary. Luckily my 12 year old labrador is perfect. Quiet and calm. Just have to make sure that she doesnt get less attention.

  17. Well, thank goodness your scuba experience didn’t work out, you are the most talented dog trainer! It’s beautiful to witness you living out your true calling. Thank you for helping us all understand how to break down dog training into bite-sized steps, Emily!

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