Getting the second set of vaccinations is an exciting time for you and your puppy, as it raises their protection against common viruses and illnesses that a young pup can get. Once they have their second set it becomes safer for them to get out and see the world and become socialized to different people, animals and situations. This is a critical time frame in the next month to get them out to see and experience as much you can. It is recommended that by the time they are 16 weeks old they should have met 100 different people! During this time puppies are open and receptive to positive encounters with different people, animals and situations, Exposing your puppy during this critical phase can help prevent problems as they age and become mature adults. These positive experience and exposures will help to build a well adapted and confident dog. You always want to go at their pace when doing a new activity, meeting someone new, or exploring new situations or spaces. Never force an uncomfortable puppy into doing something they are unsure of. We are the best advocate of our young pup and it is essential that we learn to read their body language to be sure that they are not crossing their threshold. It is always a good idea to pair these new experiences with tasty treats to help make it positive.
To help your puppy meet new people and have different experiences it is helpful to take them with you as often as you can. You can ask people if they would not mind giving your pup a treat and saying hello. Try to keep these meetings calm and keep an eye on your pups body language for any signs of fear or discomfort. This is the perfect time to get your pup registered in puppy socialization, puppy play time or puppy classes. Find a group that uses positive reinforcement, and you will gain good experiences for your pup here.
Doing a little bit of work with your puppy during this critical time period between 12 and 16 weeks old will go a very long way as your puppy grows and matures into their adult self. As an added bonus, it is good for us as well to be out with our new pups, we are proud new pet parents and spending this quality time now will only strengthen your relationship and build your pups confidence.