Without adequate socialisation and exposure to as many experiences as possible, your puppy may grow up to be frightened or aggressive when faced with another dog or a new situation. One of the unfortunate side effects of poor socialisation is a puppy with bad behavior. The main reason why dog owners surrender their pets to shelters is for unacceptable behavior. The good news is - you can start the journey of enjoying a lifetime with your well behaved companion now!
Reward behaviour that is calm and confident. It is very important that you watch your puppy carefully for any sign of hesitation, fear or distress. You may know that something is harmless. However, if your pup is wary or hesitant, it is important to allow them time to approach and interact when they are ready.
An over boisterous puppy will not learn how to restrain their rough play. This can lead to problems when trying to socialise or introduce your puppy to other dogs later in life. Calm handling and controlled games with the family will help tone down a boisterous puppy's behaviour.
So the take home message is to make new things fun for your puppy.
If your pup is a little fearful then it is better if no patting or direct contact is made until they grow in confidence. You can feed them treats but keep others far enough away that they remains calm and happy. Eventually you will be able to approach closely enough for other people to toss nibbles to your pup. If your pup is bold and perhaps inclined to be too exuberant, then have them sit quietly before being offered a treat by you or another person.
Before venturing out into the park or allowing your puppy to socialise with other dogs and puppies, check with your veterinarian to make sure your puppy has received the correct vaccinations to keep them safe from diseases in the community.
Getting out and about to see the big wide world will be fun for your pup - and you might just see a few things from a different perspective too.