The puppy’s socialization

The puppy’s socialization

Socialization is a lengthy learning phase during which the puppy acquires all the behaviors needed for life in the pack. This stage begins at the age of six weeks and ends arbitrarily around the age of four months. Mistakes in rearing or training during this period are possible and may jeopardize a happy and balanced relationship between the owner and his companion.
The puppy is born into the world not knowing to which species he belongs. He has to identify with his species. He will acquire this information in a unique, almost irreversible learning process, which is called “imprinting.” A poorly imprinted animal is a lost cause for the species.
This learning process occurs through games with his brothers and sisters and his mother. As an adult, this will enable him to recognize his sexual partner and to avoid rejection or flight with other members of his own species.
If, however, a puppy is raised with other species (humans, cats, rabbits, even a stuffed animal), he may end up identifying with the species with which he lived. If there is a complete absence of other dogs between three and more or less sixteen weeks, the puppy will identify with the nearest species (human, cat, rabbit), or even a decoy (stuffed animal). As an adult, this will lead to social preferences as well as courting behavior and attempts to mate with the species he identifies with and aggressive behavior towards his own species. In order to avoid this type of situation, the puppy must be raised in a group, with its mother, until he is at least eight weeks old.
Dogs are not programmed to interact socially with a foreign species (cat, human, rabbit). They must be socialized to other species, as well as to humans. Thus, if a puppy is raised with cats, it will not ultimately attack them.
The breeder must therefore put the puppy in contact with other species if possible and especially with different types of people (men, women, children). This interaction must continue until after two months of age. Interaction with other species during this phase will not prevent identification with his own species. The interactive presence of other species will lead to inter-specific socialization and attachment that goes against predatory behavior.
Educating the Puppy
The Rules of the Game
Man, a Trustworthy Friend