Socialization is extremely important for Yorkshire terrier puppies as with any breed of dog. Socialization is part of training, teaching, and familiarizing the puppy by acquainting them to new environments or experiences and should continue up to at least age two. This includes interacting with other animals, family members, gentle and calm children, and strangers on an ongoing and steady basis. It not only helps the Yorkshire terrier puppy form a strong bond with its owner but also teaches the puppy boundaries but without fear or anxiety and helps raise a well-adjusted, confident puppy. Proper socialization at an early age, especially during the first three or four months, helps prevent your Yorkie from developing aggression, fearfulness, shyness and other severe behavioral problems as he or she matures. Once your puppy has all his puppy vaccinations so he is protected from disease, start taking him for regular walks and outings. This is a gradual way to socialize the puppy with the outdoors and other dogs, children and people. This should always be a positive, fun experience for your Yorkie pup accompanied by praise, treats, and lots of love.
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Yorkshire terrier puppies begin learning at birth and your focus should not be on obedience or manners but socialization. Many experts believe that a puppy's main socialization time-period is up to three months old. They do continue learning from twelve to sixteen weeks, but not as quickly. The full socialization period for a Yorkshire terrier puppy is approximately two years. Be sure that you have complete control over all socialization environments your puppy will encounter such as sounds, surfaces, places, humans, dogs, puppies and other small animals. You should socialize your puppy to everything such as funny and strange noises, interesting sights, other dogs, and use quiet restraint, where you praise your puppy and only release or free him when he settles down or is calm. A dog park is a great way to help socialize your puppy but because Yorkies are such a tiny breed, only after the age of six months and with full supervision and protection by you.
By the time your puppy is three months old, it should have experienced many different surfaces such as grass, carpet, cement, wood, and puddles and different locations including other people's homes, garage, schoolyard, and the front yard. He should have played with many different types of toys, met people outside the family, including elderly adults, people with canes, children and fast moving objects such as squirrels, children running, and vacuums. The list goes on, as there is so much for your Yorkie to see and experience.
There are many great puppy socialization classes or puppy playtime groups that owners can attend with their Yorkshire terrier puppy. Remember that everything is a new experience for your Yorkie pup and is fun and exciting. He learns what tastes good, behavior that is acceptable, how to approach other animals and people, and many other things. All socialization experiences should be fun and stress free for both you and your puppy, so it is important to be persistent but patient.
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