German Shepherd Puppy Training Guide for Beginners – PART 5: Socialization
Socialization is the process of introducing your puppy to the world around him, with sound, smell, sights and texture, and most importantly other people and animals. The idea is to make them comfortable around new things.
And it is the most important part of training for the German Shepherd breed. It is because GSDs tend to be aloof with strangers and very protective of their family and home.
Without proper socialization, German Shepherds can become aggressive and unfriendly with strangers and other pets.
That said, you should start to socialize your puppy as early as 8 weeks. (Check with your vet for vaccination before she is ready to meet other dogs, though) Things you can introduce to your puppy include, but not limited to:
- People and children
- Dogs and puppies
- Other animals (e.g. chicken, goose, birds, squirrels, etc.)
- Different sound or smell
- Cars, trucks, bikes, scooters, etc
- Different surfaces like concrete, stones, bricks, mud, sand, etc.
At first, your puppy may get a bit uncomfortable because everything is new to her. Give her encouragement and make reward her with a treat if she does approach it.
Socialization is a lifelong exercise for your German Shepherd. You should keep stimulating your dog with new encounters as much as you can.
If you are a new GSD owner and want to learn more about raising and training our GSD puppy, you may want to check out these books for more information: