Socialization starts at the early ages of puppy hood, but continue throughout the dogs entire life.
Ever wonder why a dog is really shy around new people, animals and places? or why a dog is 'jumpy' around certain noises and activities? Most people jump to the conclusion that a dog is shy, scared, jumpy and unpredictable in certain situations because they were abused, but that typically isn't the case. Lack of proper socialization as a puppy and throughout the life of the dog is usually the main cause of these behaviors. The Importance of Socializing Your Dog
Socialization means exposing your dog to as many new people, animals, environments and other stimuli as possible without overwhelming them. Proper socialization will engage all of your dog's senses through exposure to the sights, sounds and smells of day-to-day life. This exposure will desensitize and condition your dog so that he develops a comfort level with different and new situations.
An unsocialized dog is unlikely to cope well with changes in his environment or situation, making him difficult to handle for his owner, veterinarian, groomer, pet sitter, and any visitors to the dog's home.
The most important time to socialize a puppy is during their first 3 months of life. For most people, that means starting the process on puppy’s very first day home.
The first 3 months of your dog’s life are when sociability outweighs fear, and her brain is most inclined to accept new experiences. What your pup encounters during this critical time will shape her character, temperament and behavior for the rest of her life.
If your puppy isn’t socialized during their first 3 months, it can increase the risk of behavior problems later in life, such as fear, avoidance and aggression. These problems can be excruciatingly difficult to fix in an older animal.